New B.M.D.’s get the O.K. at Selis Manor in Chelsea


As part of the city Board of Elections’ effort to familiarize voters with the new Ballot Marking Device, or B.M.D., earlier this month, a demonstration was held at Selis Manor on W. 23rd St., a residence for the blind, vision impaired and disabled, above. The B.M.D. allows individuals with disabilities to vote independently and privately, using any of four methods: touch screen, foot pedals, Braille or sip-and-puff. As part of compliance with the federal Help America Vote Act, one B.M.D. will be placed in every New York City polling place for the Nov. 4 elections. Selis Manor residents used the B.M.D. in the September primary elections, and “most of them like it,” said Tim Gay, B.O.E. deputy chief clerk. This could be the last year New York City uses the old hand-lever voting machines; plans are to eventually implement a new voting system, which could be the B.M.D., an optical scanner or the Direct Recording Electronic machine, or D.R.E.