From the Gotham Gazette:
If all goes according to plan, New York City will have new voting machines this year. After years of delays, New York is making progress toward complying with the federal Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA), which required states to update their voting systems in the aftermath of Florida's 2000 election debacle. New York is the last state to comply with the federal legislation and plans to have new machines in place by this year's primary elections. Questions about how the city selected its machines though, could create more delays and confusion in the months leading up to the September election.
Voters across the state, including in New York City, almost certainly will bid farewell to our decades-old Shoup lever machines. The New York City Board of Elections voted this month to purchase optical-scan voting machines from Elections Systems & Software. The city's contract, the largest for voting machines of all the counties in New York, is worth $60 million to $70 million, according to a spokesperson for the Board of Elections.
The new machines, the Election Systems & Software (ES&S) DS200 optical scanner, will read and tabulate paper ballots cast by voters on Election Day. The machines will be used in conjunction with the company's ES&S AutoMark ballot marking devices, which the city purchased last year to be placed in every poll site. The ballot marking devices allow all voters, including those with disabilities, to mark a paper ballot independently by using the machine's touch screen and accessibility functions, like a Braille keypad or audio recordings of the ballot for those with visibility impairments. The city placed devices in every poll site in 2009. Under the new system, optical scan machines will scan and count ballots filled out using the marking devices ballots marked by as well as those cast using pen.