ASSEMBLY STANDING COMMITTEE ON ELECTION LAW
ASSEMBLY STANDING COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION
ASSEMBLY STANDING COMMITTEE ON LIBRARIES AND EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY
SUBCOMMITTEE ON ELECTION DAY OPERATIONS AND VOTER DISENFRANCHISEMENT
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING
In 2005, New York enacted legislation implementing the federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA). Since then, among other actions taken, the State Board of Elections (BOE) has: (1) created a statewide database of registered voters; (2) overseen local boards of elections' placement of one handicap accessible voting system in each poll site; (3) established a program to distribute funds to counties for improving poll site accessibility; (4) promulgated various regulations to implement HAVA, including voting machine regulations for acceptance testing and certification testing; and (5) created a statewide core curriculum for training poll workers and educating the public about the transition to and use of new voting machines and systems that meet HAVA requirements. The BOE is also currently testing the optical scan voting machines that counties have selected to replace the current lever machines.
In September 2009, many counties outside of the New York City metropolitan area participated in a pilot program testing the optical scan voting machines that will be used statewide beginning in September 2010. This pilot program will provide information as to how the new voting systems will impact poll site configuration, the number of poll workers needed and other issues relevant to the administration of elections. Of particular concern to boards of elections are the fiscal and human resources necessary to run an election with the new voting systems.
Upon statewide implementation of the new voting systems, the use of lever machines will be banned in New York State, affecting the administration of elections in school districts which currently use these voting machines. School districts across the State, where voters annually approve a budget, propositions, and elect school board members, have asked the State Education Department whether they will be allowed to continue using lever voting machines following the statewide transition to the optical scan machines. Currently, there is no consensus among board of election commissioners to allow the continued use of lever voting machines, and it is unclear whether school districts will be able to use the new optical scan machines. Localities, public and association libraries and fire districts that currently use lever machines face the same issue.
This hearing is intended to examine these issues in light of the resources allocated in the enacted 2009-10 State Budget for HAVA implementation and identify any legislation or other resources that may be needed to promote the efficient administration of elections while reducing the fiscal impact of the new voting systems on counties.
Persons wishing to present pertinent testimony to the Committees at this public hearing should complete and return the enclosed reply form as soon as possible. It is important that the reply form be fully completed and returned so that persons may be notified in the event of emergency postponement or cancellation.
Oral testimony will be limited to 10 minutes duration. In preparing the order of witnesses, the Committees will attempt to accommodate individual requests to speak at particular times in view of special circumstances. These requests should be made on the attached reply form or communicated to Committee staff as early as possible. In the absence of a request, witnesses will be scheduled in the order in which reply forms are postmarked.
Ten copies of any prepared testimony should be submitted at the hearing registration desk. The Committees would appreciate advance receipt of prepared statements.
In order to meet the needs of those who may have a disability, the Assembly, in accordance with its policy of non-discrimination on the basis of disability, as well as the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), has made its facilities and services available to all individuals with disabilities. For individuals with disabilities, accommodations will be provided, upon reasonable request, to afford such individuals access and admission to Assembly facilities and activities.
Member of Assembly
Committee on Education
Member of Assembly
Committee on Libraries and Education Technology
Member of Assembly
Subcommittee on Election Day Operations
And Voter Disenfranchisement