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(Editor's Note: The League of Women Voters of Port Washington-Manhasset has sent the following letter to Election Commissioners John DeGrace and Jeffrey Stein and to Tom Suozzi, Craig Johnson and Judith Jacobs. It is reprinted here at the LWV's request.)

The League of Women Voters of Port Washington-Manhasset is very concerned about the choice of new voting machines that will be selected by the counties of New York State. We in the state League of Women Voters endorse the precinct-based paper ballot Optical Scan machine because it ensures accurate, recountable and accessible voting. These machines have been used for over 20 years and found to be simple to use with very few repairs. These machines do not require expensive technicians, special handling or special storage facilities. This makes them very cost-effective.

The Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law released a report on voting machines on Aug. 28, 2006. They endorse the Optical Scan machines as the best choice for our counties in New York. The requirement of a full-face ballot created problems for the Direct-Recording Electronic System (DRES), especially with respect to black, Hispanic and low-income voters. They also found Optical Scan machines more cost-effective.

Please read the enclosed questionnaire which we believe will help you to understand the issues involved in selecting these voting machines. Please let us know why specific machines were chosen and the reasons for rejecting those not chosen.

Edna Vincenti

Shirley Barsky

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