Though the state was required to replace its lever voting machines a decade ago, it’s possible the dust could be blown off those old gray behemoths later this year. “The New York City [Board of Elections] commissioners have mentioned that they are considering using the lever voting machines for the runoff election,” state board co-chair Douglas Kellner said during a meeting on Monday. At issue is whether the city board can program electronic machines in time for a runoff election in this year’s citywide primary elections. Such a race would be held two weeks after the Sept. 12 primary if no candidate receives 40 percent of the vote. The city board notes that while the idea came up during its most recent meeting, it hasn’t actually made a request to use the machines yet or even decided that would be the best way to go.
“Right now, executive management has been tasked with the responsibility of preparing a general overview of the options for the commissioners,” said Michael Ryan, executive director of the city board. “Until such time as that overview has been completed and presented to the various commissioners, we will have no public comment on the various options.”
Ryan said the idea that was raised by a commissioner from Queens was simply due to “good preparedness by a government entity” that wanted to consider all options in preparing for the difficulties created by a runoff.