Friday, July 4, 2008

Supervisor Doug McGivney Sees the Future of Voting in Columbia County

Supervisor Doug McGivney (D-Kinderhook) sees into the future of voting in Columbia County. In his letter to the Register-Star, Doug calms fears and sets the record straight on what the new voting machines are and what they are not.

To the Editor,

This is in response to Register-Star Article by John Mason reporting on the Board of Supervisors, County Government Committee meeting concerning the use of the new voting machines. I am very disappointed that the Democratic Election Commissioner did not support the full use of the new $ 11,000.00 machines. Both he and the Republican Election Commissioner sent a letter to the NYS Board of Elections requesting full participation. If they were only going to go with the handicap voting a cheaper machine could have been purchased – like was done by NYC.

So far as training of the voters is concerned the article quotes Copake Supervisor Crowley making statements frightening the public with the “new” and “computer-type” machines and the usual implication that “seniors; will not vote. As a 70 year old senior I resent the implication. Anyone, including us seniors that have mastered the lever machines will find the new system “a piece of cake”. The new machines are actually less complicated than the old lever machines. A person actually completes a written ballot by checking the choices and places the ballot in a “box”. The box is actually a counter so there is a machine count and the ballot drops into the box for future verification if needed. If only the people criticizing the “new machine” would look at one they might appreciate the simplicity of it. I urge the Columbia County Board of Elections to immediately display the 5 new machines at various places throughout the county at secure locations like Town Halls with printed materials showing how easy they work. The Towns can provide needed security – as we have for years.

Doug McGivney