The New Voting System

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Your Hometown Newspaper Since 1884
125th Year - Issue No. 2 September 16, 2010 $1

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Primary reactions
The new voting system weighs in
By LOREN ELIZABETH CHRISTIE ISLIP TOWN - Suffolk County residents who headed to the polls this past Tuesday to cast their votes in primary elections were faced with a new voting procedure. While across the country electronic polls are nothing new, New York State is the last to introduce them. Nineteen-year-old Adam Sindeband of West Islip, who voted for the first time last year, thought the new system was great. “I see no problems with it. In fact it’s much easier,” he said. At the polling station on Greene Avenue in Sayville, people had mixed feelings about the change in the way they vote. Kathleen and Dick Costa, long-time residents of Sayville, were impressed by the Election Poll Officers, explaining that they appeared to be well trained in helping voters adjust to the change. “The people manning the table know what they are doing. My only suggestion is that they put the scanner in the [election] district,” said Kathleen, who had to walk several feet away from where she filled out her form to feed it into the machine. Congress mandated the electronic ballot, which is thought to be more accurate because it creates a permanent record of a vote, a document deemed necessary, especially after the confusing weeks after the 2000 presidential election. The new procedure requires voters to fill in the oval corresponding with their candidate’s name on a paper ballot. The ballot is then fed through a scanner. “I think it will be more hectic in November,” Dick Costa said, citing the fact that more people will come out to vote then. Sayville resident Kathy Payton did some research on the new procedure before she arrived at the polling station to prepare herself for the change. “It wasn’t bad,” she remarked, adding that she missed the security of the voting booth curtain. “I don’t think there is as much privacy as before. I like the old system for the privacy factor,” Payton said. Elections Board Inspector Joan LaRock, who manned the polls at Maud S. Sherwood Elementary School in Islip, where she also works as a monitor, said that overall, voters were adjusting well to the change. “Mostly people are reacting positively to the new system,” LaRock said. “I think it will be harder in November when there are more voters. We seem to get a little backed up right now if we have a line of four people, since the system is new to them.” “The system is a good idea,” said Ira Goldstein of Islip. His wife, Sandra, agreed, adding, “It’s easier.” With a steady trickle of voters turning out, elections inspectors had plenty of time to explain the new system to people and answer questions. In this case, a small turnout at the polls made for smoother voting. We’ll see what happens come November. ■

WEEKLY PERIODICAL

2 THE SUFFOLK COUNTY NEWS - September 16, 2010

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