NYC Selects New Voting Machines

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

The city's Board of Elections appears to be moving into the 21st Century.

It's picked a company to supply electronic voting machines, which means New York City voters will be saying goodbye to those old lever machines. But elected officials and voting-rights advocates want the board to conduct an extensive outreach effort, so that voters aren't flummoxed by the new technology come Election Day.

Chung-Wha Hong of the New York City Immigration Coalition says education is especially needed for new voters, many of whom were raised abroad and may not speak English.

"We're talking about diverse, immigrant voting population who are gonna have to be educated about how to participate and use these machines, because they are dying to vote and to participate," Hong says.

Hong spoke on the steps of City Hall today, at an event organized by the new public advocate, Bill De Blasio. He's proposed a series of measures to educate voters, including immigrants, seniors, and the disabled.

In response, the Board of Elections says it had already planned such an effort, but looks forward to working with officials and activists in the months to come.

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