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Massachusetts


ACLU and Disability Law Center Applaud Secretary Galvin’s Decision on New Voting Technology PDF  | Print |  Email
Massachusetts
By ACLU Massachusetts and Disability Law Center   
March 15, 2007

The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts and the Disability Law Center have again joined forces to applaud Secretary of State William F. Galvin’s decision to approve the use in Massachusetts elections of a ballot marking voting machine that is both accessible and secure.

“Voting equipment that is both accessible and secure is essential to ensuring the integrity of the entire elections system in the Commonwealth,” said Carol Rose, Executive Director of the ACLU of Massachusetts. “The Secretary’s decision to fund an automatic ballot marking system best ensures that Massachusetts voters with disabilities – and thus all voters – are guaranteed equal access to a secure ballot.”

Stanley J. Eichner, Executive Director of the Disability Law Center, also welcomed the Secretary’s decision. “The automatic ballot marking device has consistently received the highest overall ratings from the disability community,” he said. “Providing secure voting machines for voters with disabilities is part and parcel of protecting their rights to equal access to the ballot and to having their votes reliably counted.”

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Massachusetts: Still No Decision About Accessible Voting Machines PDF  | Print |  Email
Massachusetts
By Warren Stewart   
August 14, 2006

With No Signed Contract or Training Plan, Galvin Is Unconcerned Because The Voting Machines Are 'Relatively Easy To Use' 

 

Just over a month before the state’s primary elections, Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin (pictured at left) still has not decided what equipment disabled voters in his state will be using. According to a report in The Boston Globe, Galvin is "near the end of a lengthy vetting process and could order the machines within days, depending upon an outside expert's evaluation of three models." The Help America Vote Act, signed in October 2002, mandated that states provide voting systems that allow disabled voteresz to vote privately and independently by January 1, 2006.

Three voting machines were given test-runs in last November’s elections: Hart Intercivic’s eSlate was tested in Woburn, the AutoMARK, marketed by ES&S was tested in Waltham, and the Diebold TSx was tested in Watertown. Presumeably these are the three systems that were reviewed by Michael Shamos of Carnegie Mellon University, who was hired by the state to test the equipment for security flaws and other potential problems. Shamos has finished his review, and he is expected to report back to the secretary of state's office soon.

While Galvin was doubtful that the accessible machines would be available for the September primary, he was optimistic that the machines would “almost certainly” be available in time for the Nov. 7 general election. Joseph M. Collins, chief executive of the Massachusetts Association for the Blind expressed disappointment that the equipment will not be available in September noting “It is unfortunate because the primary is when you have the most choices."

One of those choices will be for the Democratic candidate for Secretary of State, and Galvin’s opponent, John Bonifaz, observed “we're weeks away from the first statewide federal election under HAVA requirements, and we have no plan in place. There is no excuse for why it's taken so long. This law has been on the books for some time."

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Massachusetts Town Tells the State To Forget HAVA PDF  | Print |  Email
Massachusetts
By John Gideon, VotersUnite.org and VoteTrustUSA   
January 04, 2006
DRE's? Optical Scan? Diebold? ES&S? Not for Cheshire, MA. They've used paper ballots for 213 years and the system is not broken so it doesn't need any fixing.

According to The Transcript; Voice of the Northern Berkshires town Selectmen signed a letter to Secretary of State William F. Galvin, saying that they would not comply with the federal Help America Vote Act, which would require the town to buy an electronic voting machine for elections.

The letter, prepared by Town Administrator Mark Webber, said in part that "The Town of Cheshire, along with 20 percent of the rest of the Commonwealth's communities, still uses and is perfectly satisfied with the paper ballot system of voting. "This system has served us well for the past 213 years, and we see no compelling reason to change," the letters states.

Selectman Paul F. Astorino said the town does not need a modern voting machine because of its small population. "If we had thousands of people in this town, we'd get one, but we don't," he said. Cheshire has about 3,500 residents.

Town Clerk Christine B. Emerson, who is also head of elections for the town, said buying a new voting machine would cost too much for the town, and that the town already had a system for disabled voters in place. "What is being overlooked here is that there already is a mechanism in place for disabled voters and it's the absentee ballot system," she said.
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