Monday, September 25, 2006

This Vote Counts!

Nassau County To Test New Voting Machines Today; Public Input Sought

The days of "pulling the lever" for your favorite candidate may be coming to an end, at least in Nassau County, as the electronic age is about to forever change the way Long Islanders will vote.

Mandated by federal law to update voting machines, something that hasn't been done in New York since the mechanical lever machine was introduced in 1892, some 20,000 mechanical lever machines will be sent to the junk yards, and voters will have to relearn the time-honored tradition of casting their votes.

To aid in the transition, and, in fact, to garner public comment on the various options for new equipment available to the Island's voters, the Nassau County Board of Elections will be holding a "mock election" on prototype machines today at the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City.

September 25, 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
The Cradle of Aviation Museum
Charles Lindbergh Blvd., Garden City

The general public is invited to come out to look at and try these state-of-the-art voting machines -- and to bring along the entire family (including the next generation of voters), as you need not be a registered voter to "cast your ballot" in this demo election.

There will follow, on October 11, 2006, a public hearing on the new machines before the Nassau County Legislature, which all residents are encouraged to attend. After all, if history is any guide, New Yorkers will likely be using these new-fangled machines on election days to come for the next 100 years, or so!

October 11, 7:00 p.m.
1 West Street in Mineola
Legislator Diane Yatauro, Chair
Government Services andOperations Committee

By the way, the law [Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA)] required that these new voting machines be in place for the 2006 election. Obviously, that's not going to happen, New York falling behind the times on yet another front.

Still, the changing of the old guard is a necessary and vital step in moving New York into the 21st century (or at least the 20th), as concerns how we record votes here in the Empire State.

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