Two Electronic Systems Compete to Handle New Yorkers’ Votes

By Helena Zhu
Helena Zhu
Helena Zhu
December 21, 2009 Updated: December 21, 2009

Demonstrations of the two state-selected optical scanning electronic voting systems were held Monday in the Board of Elections Borough Office. The makers of the two systems are Election Systems and Software (ES&S) and Dominion Voting Systems (DVS).

The two companies are now competing to be selected as the one system to be used in New York City.

ES&S’s optical scan voting machine, the DS200, has a wider screen than Dominion Voting System ImageCast and allows voters to choose immediately between four languages, rather than having to go through a few pages in another language before selecting the desired one.

“Having worked in some of the nation’s largest cities for decades, ES&S is the logical choice for New York City,” said Ryan Judd, a sales manager for the company, in a press release.

Omaha, Nebraska-based ES&S has been providing election services for 40 years and at present operates in four countries and 47 states.

DVS is a Toronto, Canada-based company that has run elections across Canada and for small pilot programs in New York State earlier this year.

New York state certified both machines on Dec. 15 to replace the state’s fleet of lever machines, meaning that it is up to the city Board of Elections to choose which one to use. A decision is expected to be made at the regularly scheduled commissioner’s meeting on Jan. 5, 2010.

A public hearing will be held on Dec. 29 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Board’s general office at 42 Broadway, in the Commissioners' Room on the 6th Floor. This hearing will be an opportunity for the public to provide their feedback about which of the new systems they prefer.

Helena Zhu