Friday, August 12, 2005

A Burrito Salon and Voting Machines

There's a newly opened burrito parlor on Howard Street that's cheap and delicious. I won't tell you the name because it might get too full on Friday afternoons...

...when the great political polemicist h Brown (click here for his site) won't be able to take over the table for 12 in the middle of the room for his attempt at a Salon.

"How did you meet h?" I asked this lady, and she told me it was at the Jewish Vocational Center's computer classes. Another guest was a political fixer who didn't want his picture taken.

I spent the whole afternoon talking to Ann(e?), a Hill Dweller (Telegraph), writer, dancer, and would-be graphics person. She works with Street Sheet and the Coalition on Homelessness but is also a landlady which can be problematic, particularly when the tenants are not paying their rent.

After the stimulating Salon, I went to the Department of Elections in City Hall to test out two brands of touch screen voting machines, but I was too late to be one of the guinea pigs.

Beth Lipski, a Department worker who confessed to being "exhausted," apologized but I got my answer about which one was best anyway.

There was a representative from Sequoia, one of the two companies being considered (she looked a bit like a pharmacy rep and she was looking at the results of the two weeks of testing along with young people who are passionate about voting rights.

"Which one is better?" I asked Will Doherty, Executive Director of the Verified Voting Foundation (click here for a link) and told me "ES&S. Definitely. They combine a touch screen with an actual ballot that can be counted later if need be. Sequoia offers a paper trail given to the voter to confirm their votes, but nothing that can really be used later."

So there you have it. Contact your Supervisor and the Department of Election's office and ask for ES&S. What the acronym stands for I have no idea, but I do trust Will Doherty.

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