The New York City Board of Elections voted unanimously on Tuesday to use lever voting machines for the mayoral primary election and the runoff that is expected to follow. The board’s action came a day after Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation that authorized the return of the machines, which had been replaced in 2010 by more modern electronic voting devices. The measure signed by Mr. Cuomo also moves the date of the runoff to Oct. 1, from Sept. 24. “Using the lever machines gives us a much greater degree of confidence that we’ll be able to conduct a primary and runoff in the time frame appropriated,” said Steven H. Richman, the general counsel for the Board of Elections, who described the change as a “temporary, short-term accommodation.”
Government watchdog groups and advocates for people with disabilities had hoped that Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat, would veto the legislation allowing the return of the lever machines. And his approval message suggested that he was signing the measure with misgivings: The governor described the return of the lever machines as “a poor solution” that “poses significant problems for voters,” including people with disabilities.
“Nevertheless, circumstances require that I sign this bill into law,” he wrote. “Preventing the use of lever voting machines through a veto could profoundly impact the integrity of this year’s elections.”