The New York State Senate have passed two bills that would allow for the use of lever-style voting machines in non-federal elections in New York City, and in elections held by villages, school districts and special districts. Legislation (S4088B), sponsored by Senator Martin Golden, would allow New York City to use lever voting machines for all non-federal elections, including the upcoming primary, run-off and general elections this fall. In addition, the bill would to move the date for a potential run-off election in New York City from September 24th to October 1st to avoid a conflict with the Jewish holiday Sukkot.
“The lever voting machines had been successfully used in New York for over 100 years. They have proven to be reliable and easy for voters to use,” Senator Golden said. “In addition, using lever voting machines will expedite the canvass of votes cast in the primary election and reduce the number of paper ballots that would need to be hand-counted.”
“The new voting machines are confusing to people and very hard to read, especially for seniors,” Senator Simcha Felder (D-Brooklyn), a co-sponsor of the bill, said. “The old saying is that ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’ To ensure an orderly election we should allow the simple, lever-style machines to be used.”
This year, the City of New York faces the prospect of three elections over a two-month period — the primary, a run-off primary, and the general election. The offices up for election this year include Mayor, City Comptroller, Public Advocate, Borough President, and all of the City Council seats.