Sunday, February 22, 2009

Lever Resolutions in Columbia & Ulster Counties

Following the lead of Dutchess County, in February both the Ulster County Legislature and the Columbia County Board of Supervisors passed resolutions authorizing their county governments to formally urge or request respectively that the "New York State Legislature and The New York State Board of Elections enact laws, rules and regulations that specifically authorize the continued use of lever-style voting machines." The Ulster resolution was passed unanimously and the Columbia resolution passed with only one dissenting vote.

The Kingston Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) has also taken a position advocating for the retention of levers in New York. Although they had previously been concerned about being at odds with the League of Women Voters of NY over their position in favor of optical scanners over levers, an article by Teresa Hommel, who worked to write the LWV national position in 2006 clarified for the group that the LWV standards were never intended to apply to non-electronic voting machines and therefore should not be construed as a position in opposition to lever machines. A poll of the AAUW Kingston membership revealed that over 90% of the respondents thought that the group should work to help retain the lever voting machines.