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Letters: Schools' program to maximize votes

Bellport residents vote during the school board elections

Bellport residents vote during the school board elections at Bellport Middle School in Bellport. (May 15, 2012) Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams, Jr.

The news story "Software do-over" [April 28] listed school districts that have the Bold Systems LLC election management system. If it wasn't for a Freedom of Information Law request, who would have known about the use of the software?

The teachers and school administrators have been successful in passing school budgets that support hefty yearly salary increases and other generous benefits. Who wouldn't want to use any means possible to continue the gravy train?

I am very skeptical of the statements by BOCES officials denying any legality issues and their attempt to deflect further questions by requiring rebidding for software. New York is well known for corruption, and use of the election management system needs to be investigated.

John Blaikie, South Setauket

I am appalled that the Center Moriches School District may have kept tabs on how we vote. Instead of the federal program Race to the Top, I imagine that the school district will be promoting "Race to the Polls." You'll just have to agree to vote the way the administration wants you to vote.

Bold Systems touts its software's ability to swing a budget vote. School districts cannot legally spend money to steer an election. They can urge citizens to vote, but should be forbidden to call a selective list of voters. Within most Long Island districts, budget votes and trustee elections can be close, with retirees on fixed incomes and homeowners without kids in school more likely to vote down the budget tax increase.

Gary Bixhorn, the chief operating officer of Eastern Suffolk BOCES, and Thomas Rogers, district superintendent of Nassau BOCES, said the Bold Systems feature that tracks selected voters can be used "in a manner that violates the spirit and letter of the law."

Kelly Platt, Center Moriches