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Calling It a "Pilot" Doesn't Make it So
Deploying uncertified voting systems countywide in 18 counties for real elections is a "roll out".

by Ellen Theisen. June 3, 2009.

Update June 12, 2009. Equally disturbing, the plan for the "pilot" and for full deployment of new optical scanners in 2010 is dependent on historically undependable vendors and proper functioning of their historically defective equipment. Read our report.

The New York State Board of Elections has proposed a “pilot program” allowing county Boards to use new voting systems even though they have not yet completed or passed New York State certification testing. Under the proposed plan 45 counties – with over 900,000 registered voters – will use the systems in the 2009 primary and general elections; 18 will use the uncertified systems countywide.

But the goal of a true software pilot project is to test whether the system is working as it was designed under limited conditions. The value of a pilot program comes from lessons learned prior to the eventual full roll out of a new system. But the plan proposed for these 18 counties provides no indication that information gained from the pilot will be used in a meaningful way.

“Pilot project” is a misnomer. This project proposes to use nearly a million New York voters as guinea pigs.

Read Bo Lipari’s full explanation and excellent recommendations (pdf).

What [the vendor's delivery of non-functioning machines] tells us is
that the vendor just throws this stuff over the transom
and does not do any alpha- or beta-testing of their own
before they apply for certification testing.
~ Douglas Kellner, Commissioner and Co-Chair,
New York State Board of Elections, July 14, 2008

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