Friday, March 10, 2006

New York will not be getting new election machines....

It's virtually impossible to have new, electronic voting machines ready for the fall elections, meaning most voters will still be using old, lever-style machines. New York was supposed to have electronic machines online for the 2006 elections, to comply with the federal Help America Vote Act. Federal officials have threatened to pull $49 million earmarked for New York to purchase new machines.

New York officials are discussing a possible settlement that could address at least one key element of HAVA: providing better access for the disabled. State election officials, while still battling the federal government in court, is going ahead with preparations to buy machinery that will allow people with disabilities to vote this fall, a Board of Elections spokesman said today.

Robert Brehm said the board has issued a request for bids, the first step to purchasing about 10,000 devices that will allow the disabled to cast ballots in the 2006 elections.

"It's virtually impossible to replace the lever machines for 2006 without compromising the integrity of the election," Commissioner Douglas Kellner said. "Many states are having problems because they rushed HAVA compliance. ... Our goal is to do it right."

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