PA Williams & Advocates to NYS Leg: "Protect Voters, Ban All-in-One Voting Machines"

NEW YORK, NY (05/12/2022) (readMedia)-- Today, with nine days left of the NYS legislative session, Common Cause/NY joined with Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, and Chinese-American Planning Council to push the New York State legislature to pass legislation (??A1115/S309B) that will ban All-in-One Voting machines: machines that incorporate both a printer and scanner/tabulator in one voting machine.


These machines are touch screen voting machines that would allow voters to mark their ballot electronically instead of on the traditional voter-marked paper ballots. Cyber security election experts almost universally pan the touch screen technology, so much so that most states have switched back to voter-marked paper ballots. These machines, in addition to costing the taxpayer exorbitant amounts of money, are likely to result in long lines and problems at the polls. When these machines go down, everything grinds to a halt, because voters cannot mark their own ballots or easily verify that their ballots are correct.

"Lawmakers must act quickly and pass legislation that bans One-in-All voting machines for good," said Susan Lerner, Executive Director of Common Cause/NY. "They are wasteful, insecure and deeply flawed machines. Our current system is already the current gold standard: voter-marked paper ballots and optical scanners. Any one-in-all voting machine would be a serious –and expensive – needless step backwards. Protect the voters and secure the right to vote," said Susan Lerner, Executive Director of Common Cause/NY.

"Amid attacks on voting rights across our country, New York City can and should be a beacon of election security and ban hybrid voting machines," said Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams. "These hybrid voting machines are expensive, inaccessible, and risky, and we cannot allow them to be used in New York elections. Albany can pass the hybrid ban bill now before the summer elections, and it absolutely must."

"As many advocates have warned, these machines are highly problematic: they produce unverifiable results, have malfunctioned in other states in recent elections, and, perhaps worst of all, have now added printing non-English ballots in a hard- to read format, relying instead on bar codes that the voter can't read. Voters whose English is not their first language need the ease and reliability of paper ballots. There are no circumstances under which New York should authorize all-in-one machines for use in our elections, especially at a time when voting rights are under assault. New York cannot take a step backward and allow the use of unreliable machines that cannot be trusted. I stand ready to pass legislation to ensure we protect voters," said Assembly Member Catalina Cruz.

Senator Myrie and Assembly Paulin's legislation would ban all-in-one voting machines, machines that encode votes with bar or QR code, and protect local boards of elections from having to buy new equipment if they purchased non-compliant machinery prior to the enactment of this new law. The bill is scheduled to pass the Senate for a second year in a row. The Assembly has yet to vote on it.

Last year, the NYSBOE voted against certifying the ExpressVote XL, an all-in-one machine. In 2020, Common Cause released a report called "The ExpressVote XL: Bad for New York's Elections." Common Cause argued New York should not purchase the ExpressVote XL, because it is:

  • Vulnerable to cyber attacks and hardware malfunctions
    • ExpressVote XL machines do not leave a secure paper trail, making results easier to hack. According to a recent study, only 40% of voters reviewed their ballot for accuracy after submission and only about 7% informed a poll worker if something was wrong. The study concludes that a hacker could easily change the results of 1% or 2% of votes without anyone noticing.
    • The 14 states that use ballot-marking devices have begun to phase them out.
    • Touchscreens malfunction and can cause long lines for voters. For example, in Pennsylvania, roughly 30% of the machines allowed voters to select only some candidates' names, and not others.
  • Prone to undercounting votes
    • In a race in Pennsylvania, a candidate was recorded as having 164 votes on election night, but after a manual recount the same candidate had over 26,000 votes, winning the race.
  • Expensive
    • The ExpressVote XL costs almost $10,000 per unit. This is far more expensive than other voting machines. Additionally, it will cost more money to store and transport the machines.
  • Long Lines
    • With fewer All-in-One voting machines than privacy booths for voters to mark their ballots, the ExpressVote XL can lead to even longer lines in busy polling places.