Christine Stuart photo
Twenty-five municipalities from big to small and urban to rural were chosen Wednesday by Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz to test the new optical scan voting technology in this November’s election. The old 3,300 lever machines will be phased out in all 169 municipalities by November 2007.
Bysiewicz said municipalities that own these old lever machines will be able to start selling them. She said her office has already received requests from an Eastern European province that’s interested in purchasing the old machines. She estimated they were worth a few thousand dollars and someone from the crowded press conference opined the scrap metal value alone is at least worth a few hundred dollars. Registrar of Voters in Vernon, Judy Beaudreau said her town has been using the technology since 1994. “This is only new technology to Connecticut, it’s been around for about 20 years,” she said. She said anyone who can play the lottery and knows how to fill in a bubble can use this technology. Click here to read a previous article about how the technology works. And click here to see a list of cities and towns selected to test the voting technology. Today was also the deadline for Bysiewicz to certify nominating petitions of various candidates including that of U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman who is running as a third party candidate with the “Connecticut for Lieberman” party. Bysiewicz said she did certify Lieberman’s petition which will guarantee him a spot on the ballot. While his name will appear after the candidates for the Green Party and Concerned Citizens Party, the old lever machines won’t place Lieberman’s name at the very bottom of the ballot, she said. The Committee for a Unified Independent Party submitted a complaint about Lieberman’s independent status last week. The organization asked Bysiewicz not to certify Lieberman’s application for nominating petition because it excluded the name of the applicant. “Given the amount of media and political controversy that surrounded Mr. Lieberman’s decision to continue his candidacy in the event of losing the Democratic primary, it is plausible that the applicant preferred that his or her identity not be revealed at the time of submission,” the organization wrote in its letter to Bysiewicz. Bysiewicz said Wednesday that she asked two other independent candidates to include the name of the applicant on the nominating petition so that her office could differentiate Michael Telesca’s independent candidacy from that of an independent party from Bethel. She said there’s nothing wrong with Lieberman’s application.