Jessica Flagg

 

January 29, 2007

Statement in Support of Resolution 131 for

Paper Ballots and Optical Scanners

 

My name is Jessica Flagg. First I want to thank you for holding this hearing and inviting the public to speak.

 

Iím here to speak in favor of Resolution 131. I urge you to let this resolution out of committee so it can receive a vote by the City Council. I support the use of paper ballots and optical scanning. I oppose DREs because they have failed voters around the country. There have been lost votes, overcounts (more votes than voters), breakdowns, huge waiting lines to vote on DREs, and mass confusion. DREs give us no way to determine the original voter intent because both electronic record and the paper trail are created by the computer.

 

I worked in the computer industry for many years. I know how easy it is to change the programs and how simple it is to have the printed audit trail say one thing while the computer records something else. There is no way to certify that the computer is accurate without an item by item audit. A 3% random audit is pitifully inadequate.

 

The ultimate security to ensure that the intent of the voter is properly recorded and can be retrieved for recount purposes is to have a voter-marked paper ballot.

 

We owe it to democracy to make sure that our voting system is of the highest integrity and can withstand the scrutiny of a rigorous audit. New York must stand against any system where the controls and technology are in the hands of private interests and the mechanism for counting the vote is based on the virtual record instead of an original document marked by the voter.

 

Thank you again for holding this hearing. I hope you will vote on Resolution 131 and pass it out of committee, and recommend that it pass by unanimous vote by the City Council.