New Voting Machines Create Privacy Concerns
The poor turnout (and new election machine problems) in today’s primary for state-wide office highlights the need for New York State to do something differently. New York should do what Oregon and other states have been doing. Let voters cast their ballots by mail over a two week period.
Voting by mail would make it easier for people to vote. Turnout would increase and New York State taxpayers would save many millions of dollars because there would be no need for election day expenses.
Voting by mail is easier. Voters can reflect on the ballot at home in a less stressful environment. If they have questions about referenda they have more time to ask their questions.
In Oregon voter turnout has increased significantly; by as much as 40%. Having elections by mail would result in no election inspectors and pollworkers, no extra paychecks, no rentals of voting locations, no early morning hours for election inspectors, no election day set up problems, no confusion where people have to go to vote. And, since everyone would vote by mail, no need for absentee ballots.
Voter lists are easier to maintain because ballots that are returned as undeliverable will cause the Board of Elections to check the registration and to remove the name from the ballot.
Oregon voters have two weeks to cast their ballot. This provides the electorate with the chance to study the issues carefully and to have questions answered.
Concerns Over New Voting machines: Privacy and Waste of Paper
The new voting machines are horrible. There are privacy issues. Election inspectors look over the shoulders of voters as they scan their ballots in the scanner –causing voters to wonder if someone is watching how they voted. And, lots of paper ballots will be thrown out because most people don't bother to vote. the old machines were better for the environment and did not waste so much paper.
Paul Feiner is Greenburgh Town Supervisor.