Millman Holds Election Law Committee Hearing in New York City

May 20, 2010
Brooklyn – Assemblywoman Joan L. Millman, Chair of the Assembly’s Election Law Committee, held a public hearing on Friday, May 14th to prepare for the New York City Board of Elections’ full replacement of lever machines with accessible optical scan voting machines. She was joined by colleagues Assemblymembers Michael Benjamin and Brian Kavanaugh. At the hearing, the Committee examined New York City’s specific budgetary needs to provide sufficient poll worker training on the new system and to conduct successful public outreach and education.

Assemblywoman Millman emphasized the importance of full funding of the NYC Board of Elections, “The Board of Elections simply cannot take on the monumental task of introducing a new voting system to the public without adequate funding. I urge the City to restore all funding to the Board so that poll workers are properly trained and the public has the opportunity to be familiarized with the new optical scan machines well before this fall’s elections. Inadequately funding the Board at this time would negatively impact democracy in our City.”

“The NYC Board of Elections has a host of new responsibilities. For example, many polling sites cannot logistically accommodate the optical scan voting system, so new sites must be located.” Assemblywoman Millman continued, “Additionally, the Board has planned a variety of community outreach events at public libraries, senior centers and other public facilities throughout the City that will necessitate added funding.”

Several officials from the NYC Board of Elections provided testimony – President Julie Dent, Deputy Executive Director George Gonzalez, Secretary Juan Carlos Polanco, Administrative Manager Pamela Green Perkins and General Counsel Steven Richman. Adrienne Kivelson and Kate Duran of the League of Women Voters of the City of New York and Nicholas Zimmitti, President of the Communications Workers of America, Local 1183, also shared their thoughts and concerns about implementing the new system.