A bill co-sponsored by Senator Jack M. Martins (R-Mineola), who represents the Roslyn area in Albany and Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel (D-Great Neck) has been signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo.
The legislation allows school districts, villages, and special districts to continue using lever voting machines as they have in the past for an additional year. According to the New York State School Boards Association, this law will save $81 million for school districts alone.
“This is great news for our schools, villages, and special districts,” said Martins. “Continued use of lever-style voting machines in these non-partisan, small turnout elections will save taxpayer dollars while also ensuring that elections are conducted fairly and accurately.”
“This law gives immediate relief to villages, school districts, and special districts,” added Schimel. “Now the State Board of Elections must help formulate solutions to ease localities transition to electronic voting machines. For the first time, we are putting the government’s feet to the fire by forcing the State BOE to consider the fiscal and resource impact of its recommendations on local governments and school districts.”
This new law extends the current exemption allowing school districts and localities to use lever-style voting machines until Dec. 31, 2015.
Additionally, the New York State Board of Elections (State BOE) must conduct a report on the administration of elections by villages, school districts and special districts. The report, which must be submitted to the Governor and State Legislature by Jan. 31, 2015, must include recommendations and guidance to localities on how to successfully transition to electronic voting systems.
The report must also include an analysis of the cost and fiscal impact of these solutions on local governments and school districts. The law also requires the State BOE to take into consideration recommendations proposed by various stakeholders, such as the New York State School Boards Association, the New York State Conference of Mayors, and the New York State Association of Counties.