New York elections are at a dangerous crossroads. A new voting machine called the ExpressVote XL has been approved for use in New York state. Experts call it a "bad" voting machine that could radically change the way we vote. They say it will undermine security and confidence, while increasing wait times and costs.
The ExpressVote XL is an ATM-style touchscreen system that does not allow voters to use a pen and paper to vote. The ballots look completely different from pen and paper ballots. NY statutes do not allow ballots that look different to be used at the same polling place, so, no pen and paper voting will be permitted wherever the ExpressVote XL is used. This could include every single polling place in any county that uses it. New York City Board of Elections already asked for permission to use it.
NY elections could determine the balance of power in the House of Representatives in 2024, and how we vote matters.
Remarkably, progressives, civil rights leaders, conservative advocates and security experts all agree it is best that NY reject the ExpressVote XL. New York has been a leader in election security and this is no time to change that. Yet on 8/2/23 the NY State Board of Elections approved the use of the ExpressVote XL voting machine for New York.
The vendor ES&S fought hard to get approved in New York. The voting machine is estimated to be selling for 10,000 per machine, around double the cost of current systems. ES&S stands to make massive profits from its sale. A representative of their lobbying firm has even engaged in behavior that is possibly illegal.
CITY & STATE NY ON THE EXPRESSVOTE XL - FEATURES SMART ELECTIONS
NY DAILY NEWS AFTER APPROVAL OF THE EXPRESSVOTE XL - QUOTES SMART ELECTIONS
These are documents from our four-year battle trying to protect NY voters and candidates from this voting machine.
Security experts and good government groups oppose the use of the ExpressVote XL. They say that the ExpressVote XL has a flawed design that makes it dangerously insecure, and that it is also glitchy (1), and over-priced. Many of them strongly oppose its use. Voters with disabilities have often struggled to use it.
Emails obtained through public records requests reveal that in May of 2019, the New York State Board of Elections halted certification of the ExpressVote XL due to concerns that state regulations do not allow its use.
After the certification process was halted, the ES&S legal team threatened to sue the Board stating, “ES&S has authorized our firm to take any and all legal action necessary to preserve their rights...as your… actions have put ES&S in a position to lose… many business opportunities to sell the XL system to New York State customers.”
The New York State Board of Elections capitulated and is now poised to certify the ExpressVote XL.
Other documents obtained through public records request reveal that ES&S deceived the board about the company's past/present litigation and did not provide the New York State Board with all the documents it was legally required to provide.
ES&S threatened to sue SMART Elections, sending a cease & desist letter to us, for providing information to the public about these issues.
Andrew Appel, the Eugene Higgins Professor Computer Science at Princeton University has written a blog post explaining that "the folks at SMART Elections are aware of these scientific studies, and are basing their journalism and advocacy on good science."
HIs blog post clarifies that "The ExpressVote XL, if hacked, can add, delete, or change votes on individual ballots — and no voting machine is immune from hacking. That’s why optical-scan voting machines are the way to go, because they can’t change what’s printed on the ballot. And let me explain some more: The ExpressVote XL, if adopted, will deteriorate our security and our ability to have confidence in our elections, and indeed it is a bad voting machine. And expensive, too!"
We must continue to follow expert guidance in our elections and not succumb to vendor pressure to buy expensive systems that do not serve the public. It is imperative that we protect our right to accessible, accurate, private, and secure elections.
Below are related documents
1. “As many as 30% of Northampton County’s ExpressVote XL voting machines had flawed touch screens that prevented voters from selecting candidates listed on the edge of the ballot. At the same time, machines failed to electronically count any votes for some candidates in cross-filed races.” - The Morning call 12/19/19
Common Cause Is "Vehemently Opposed" to the ExpressVote XL
" 'New York is among the “36 states and D.C. .... that use voter-marked, machine-scanned paper ballots that security experts consider the gold standard' 1. for election security. That is why Common Cause/NY is alarmed to see the New York State Board of Elections move in a direction that would undermine the security of our elections.
Common Cause/NY vehemently opposes the certification of the ExpressVote XL and strongly urges the New York State Board of Elections to act in the best interests of New Yorkers and our elections."
1 Politico, “The Scramble to Secure America’s Voting Machines,” August 6th, 2019.
All-in One Voting Machines Are Not Secure
SMART Elections has produced this easy-to-read PDF that explains the major security concerns with "hybrid" or "All-In-One voting systems, like the Dominion ICE, the ExpressVote & the ExpressVote XL.
The document is based on the work of Professor Andrew Appel of Princeton and Professor Philip Stark at the University of California Berkeley.
The document was produced by Executive Director Lulu Friesdat & Former Columbia County Election Commissioner Virginia Martin, Ph.D.
Read the full paper here.
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