State senator calls for public hearing on new voting machines

Cayla Harris

February 04, 2020

Originally published in Times Union on February 04, 2020.

As the state Board of Elections continues its certification process to adopt controversial touch-screen voting machines, the head of the Senate elections committee is urging the board's commissioners to hit pause while lawmakers gather feedback about the new technology.

The board is currently testing the "ExpressVote XL" voting system, designed by the Nebraska-based company Election Systems & Software, as part of a growing nationwide interest in ballot-marking devices — hybrid machines that allow voters to cast their ballots using a touch screen. The system spits out a paper record of the votes as a secondary measure to ensure an accurate count – but advocates have questioned the precision of the machines and whether they are vulnerable to hackers.

"Everything is always good until it’s not," said state Sen. Zellnor Myrie, D-Brooklyn, who chairs the Senate Committee on Elections. "Everything is shiny and cutting-edge until it's not."

Read the full story in the Times Union.