On the morning of October 5, 2009, Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh traveled to Yonkers to attend a hearing of the State Senate Elections Committee, chaired by Senator Joseph Addabbo, on voter suppression, the new voting machines currently being implemented across the state, and other topics.
Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins discussed a bill she has introduced (S.2554) that would clarify laws against voter suppression and increase penalties for violations. Witnesses testified about their experiences encountering voter suppression, either as voters, election workers, or candidates. Lawyers from the DLC, an organization that regularly monitors and fights voter suppression, explained widespread abuses in New York State during the 2008 election, from the purposeful dissemination of false information to the use of harassing and misleading phone calls.
Several witnesses also testified about concerns they have regarding the new voting machines that use machine-scannable paper ballots to record votes and are currently scheduled to be deployed statewide by the 2010 elections.
Kavanagh chairs the Assembly Subcommittee on Election Day Operations and Voter Disenfranchisement and is interested to hear from constituents and other interested parties on these and other issues related to voting right and the administration of elections. If you have suggestions or concerns, please contact Ames Grawert in Kavanagh’s district office at 212-979-9696.