Buying a New York City Voting Machine
January 5, 2010 6:36 PM   Subscribe

New York City is finally ditching its old mechanical, lever-based voting machines for new optical scanners. I love those old machines and would like to buy one. Has there been any word on how the Board of Elections plans to dispose of them? Any tips in general on obtaining one? Thanks.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell to Law & Government (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
They are stored in a warehouse in Brooklyn. Saw them back in 2001. Unfortunately I do not remember where they are, though I remember we had to take the G line to its end and then walk some distance to a big, open, old style warehouse in the middle of industrial Brooklyn.

I'd call the Board of Elections and ask them this question. You could also call 311.
posted by dfriedman at 7:44 PM on January 5, 2010

Well, that's a real shame. I love those things.

Maybe they'll turn up on the surplus auction page:
posted by madajb at 8:03 PM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Dfriedman: I'll definitely call - I just wanted to know if there had been any public announcements about them. (In my experience, dealing with the BoE can be... interesting, so I figure going in armed with any public statements would be helpful.) But thanks for the tip on the warehouse. What was the reason for your visit?

Mada: I love them too! I'm sad to see them go. Thanks for the eBay link - it's an interesting idea. However, I think these machines are likely to be sold by the city rather than the state. Do you know if NYC has a similar eBay account?
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 8:46 PM on January 5, 2010

NYC has auctions as well, but they aren't nearly as useful:
posted by madajb at 8:56 PM on January 5, 2010

Here's the page describing how NYC deals with surplus stuff:
posted by carmicha at 9:02 PM on January 5, 2010

Semi-useful factoid: The city I live (in Michigan) was still using the lever machines until about 5 years ago. (They stopped because state law made them go electronic.) It was well-known that since those machines aren't made anymore, our city would buy the old machines other cities were throwing out, just to have spare parts.

So if there are any cities still using lever machines, you may be competing against them in any surplus auctions.
posted by faster than a speeding bulette at 7:26 AM on January 6, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks for the NYC auctions link.

As for other cities needing spare parts... I am pretty sure New York is the last state in the nation to use these kinds of machines. Every other state has already complied with the federal Help America Vote Act, and there's no way these old clunkers pass muster under HAVA (which is why they're getting rid of them here). So I don't think there's much of a market for these machines anymore.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 8:27 PM on January 6, 2010

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