March 2, 2006

Voting machine lawsuit

There isn't much in this morning's Ithaca Journal about Dryden, but there is a piece about the federal government suing New York State for its delays in overhauling our voting system. We'll be voting on the classic lever-based machines in November. The lawsuit may cost New York $49 million in aid, though it doesn't itself ask for anything beyond a plan in 30 days.

I'm with NYCO in finding this all a bit strange:

I always find it perversely fascinating when the all-powerful federal government, so accustomed to snapping its fingers and sending mighty armies speeding across the globe on a whim, confronts the awesome inertia that is Albany. There has to be some kind of way to harness and use that mighty natural force for good.

I'm not entirely sure why the federal government is so upset. Rather than attempt to standardize one set of machines across the country, they passed it down to the states. New York, similarly (and foolishly in my opinion), passed it down to the counties. New York may have taken more time sorting out the many things the federal law left open to the states to decide, sure - but this looks to me like a mess at every level, which each layer of government pushing the work down to the next layer.

(The towns, fortunately, handed this up to the county, so it can't reach down to the Dryden level.)

Posted by simon at March 2, 2006 12:50 PM in ,
Note on photos


Alex said:

It's interesting seeing how different countries handle the electoral process. In Australia the federal and state electoral commissions work seperately, but there is only one enrolment form for both, and there's not voting machines. It's all pencil and paper, which makes it virtually fool proof.