Assemblyman Phil Ramos (D – Central Islip) announced today that the Assembly once again passed an election reform package he sponsored. This package modernizes the voting process and helps New York to comply with the federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002.
"Elections are the foundation of our democracy, but they are meaningless without public trust," Ramos said. "Modernizing and improving our electoral process will ensure voter confidence and encourage broader participation by ensuring that every vote counts."
Ramos’ reform package will implement the Help America Vote Act to make voting in New York easier and more accurate by:
- banning punch card ballots; adopting of a single type of voting machine with a voter-verified paper audit trail; and ensuring every voting machines is fully accessible to the disabled (A.5);
- consolidating election operations at the county level – ensuring elections are run consistently and polling places are adequately staffed with well-trained workers (A.122);
- creating a statewide computerized voter registration list with proper privacy protections – helping to ensure voters get in and out of the polls quickly, record votes accurately and prevent voter fraud (A.121);
- providing for an administrative complaint procedure (A.119); and
- establishing basic guidelines to ensure the disabled community has access to polling sites (A.120).
"It is my goal to adopt a system that works for all voters. We can help increase voter turnout and empower all New Yorkers with a voting process that is reliable and user-friendly," Ramos said.
Last year, the Assembly and Senate convened a conference committee to resolve differences between each houses’ HAVA bills. "It is essential that the HAVA conference committee be reconvened as soon as possible," Ramos said. "I urge the Senate to pass its HAVA legislation and then promptly join us in a conference committee to enact HAVA legislation this session.
"This legislation will ensure the integrity of our election process," Ramos said. "Election reform is not a partisan issue, but a bipartisan responsibility. I urge the Senate and governor to follow the Assembly’s lead and make these reforms law."