New York State Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel continues the fight for lever voting machines to still be permitted in local, elections. The state law requires newer electronic voting machines to be used in all elections, even though these machines are costly and often difficult, if not impossible, to obtain. Schimel plans a meeting of officials on Monday, May 12, in Albany, “to address a suburban response to voting, with many of the stakeholders affected.”
While state law mandated only the use of the new voting machines, in 2010 and 2012, Schimel, along with New York State Senator Jack Martins and several non-partisan local officials, fought, and won, an extension permitting the use of the old lever machines in village, special district and school district elections. These extensions “sunset” on Dec. 31, 2014 and Schimel told the Great Neck Record that she does not expect Cuomo to approve anymore such extensions. She termed the chance for a third extension “remote.”
And she stated that the “sunset’ of these extensions will be “extremely problematic” for some suburban areas … with challenges faced by these areas including the frequency and timing of non-partisan elections, the availability and need for additional electronic voting machines, personnel issues and cost.
She said that with 200 extra non-partisan elections each year, the voting machines issue has become a major issue state-wide.
Local hearings on the use of the new electronic voting machines versus the old lever voting machines have been held and now, says Schimel, “It’s beyond hearings” and time for a solution.
A host of state officials invited includes: Governor Andrew Cuomo; New York State Senator Jack Martins; Nassau County Board of Elections Democratic Commissioner William Biamonte and Republican Commissioner Douglas Colety; specific village mayors. staff from the governor’s office; members of the NYS Assembly; members of special districts, such as the Great Neck Park District; members of statewide organization such as the New York Conference of Mayors; and specific lobbyists.
According to Schimel, the purpose of this “Solution to Suburban Voting” meeting is “to engage participants in actively seeking solutions to this timely issue.”