(Well, Almost...) Announce They will Defy HAVA's 2006 Mandate to Install Electronic Voting Machines!
'Perfectly Satisfied With, Served Well By' 213 Year-Old Paper System, 'Disabled Voters May Use Absentee Balloting'
By John Gideon on 1/4/2006, 3:41pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

DRE's? Optical Scan? Diebold? ES&S? Not for the little town of Cheshire, Massachusetts! They've used paper ballots for 213 years and the system, they say, is not broken so it needs no "fixing"!

Furthermore, they suggest an interesting (and perhaps obvious) means for meeting the new Federal requirement for disabled voters...The absentee ballot!

According to The North Adams Transcript the "Voice of the Northern Berkshires", town Selectmen in the small city have signed a letter to Secretary of State William F. Galvin, giving notice that they would not comply with the federal Help America Vote Act, which mandates the purchase of an electronic voting machine for elections. (Note: There is actually no requirement for any electronic voting machines as noted in VotersUnite's "Myth Breakers: Facts about Electronic Elections")

The letter, prepared by Town Administrator Mark Webber, said in part that "The Town of Cheshire, along with 20 percent of the rest of the Commonwealth's communities, still uses and is perfectly satisfied with the paper ballot system of voting.

"This system has served us well for the past 213 years, and we see no compelling reason to change," the letters states.

Selectman Paul F. Astorino said the town does not need a modern voting machine because of its small population. "If we had thousands of people in this town, we'd get one, but we don't," he said.

Cheshire has about 3,500 residents.

Town Clerk Christine B. Emerson, who is also head of elections for the town, said buying a new voting machine would cost too much for the town, and that the town already had a system for disabled voters in place. "What is being overlooked here is that there already is a mechanism in place for disabled voters and it's the absentee ballot system," she said.