Washington County Lever Resolution

Resolution No. 142 May 15, 2009
By Supervisors G. Hall, Brown, LaPointe, Scribner, Rymph, Shay,
Lindsay, Hurley, Campbell

TITLE: To Support Continued Use of Lever Voting Machines in Washington
County and New York State

WHEREAS, Washington County has recent experience in the 20th Congressional District special election with contested election procedures, and

WHEREAS, the close scrutiny of the procedures of this recent election showed that the current lever voting machines provide an accurate, verifiable method of recording votes, and

WHEREAS, Washington County has successfully utilized lever voting machines for many decades without significant problems, and with the ability to successfully remedy any problems with trained, local staff, and

WHEREAS, the Washington County Board of Supervisors and
Commissioners of the Washington County Board of Elections believe that the current lever voting machines provide for an accurate, verifiable method for recording votes that continues to be viable and will remain so for years to come, and

WHEREAS, the current movement to electronic means of recording votes requires staff and training that does not currently exist and also requires more expense and labor for processing of the materials associated with an election, and

WHEREAS, fears of violations of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) are misplaced due to the existence of both lever machines that are capable of access by certain classes of impaired voters as well as the existence of ballot marking devices, and

WHEREAS, Washington County’s experience with ballot marking devices shows that the expense of materials preparation and handling during future elections will outweigh the benefits supposedly associated with use of optical scan machines, and

WHEREAS, the Washington County Board of Supervisors believes that the mandate to retire working lever voting machines in favor of another system is illustrative of the continued efforts by the State and Federal governments to solve a problem that does not exist in Washington County, and

WHEREAS, this mandated discontinuance of lever voting machines constitutes an unfunded state mandate upon Washington County and significantly increases the costs of elections to the County’s
citizens; now therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the Washington County Board of Supervisors hereby calls upon the State of New York and Federal government to allow for the continued use of lever voting machines for the people of New York State and particularly the County of Washington; and be it further

RESOLVED, that, again, the County calls upon the State and Federal governments to cease and desist from the imposition of unfunded mandates and the creation of “crises” where none actually exist; and
be it further

RESOLVED, that a copy of the resolution be forwarded to Governor Paterson, Senator Little, Assemblyman Jordan, Senators Gillibrand and Schumer and Congressman Murphy as well as any other party that may be requested by any supervisor or Commissioner of Elections.

BUDGET IMPACT STATEMENT: None for this resolution. Experience with ballot marking devices, and the associated costs of printing and handling paper ballots, shows that the imposition of optical scan
devices has the potential to vastly increase the costs of administering elections within Washington County.

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