The Kingston Daily Freeman, Serving the Hudson Valley since 1871


Keep old voting machines, Sullivan committee says


Published: Saturday, May 9, 2009

By Mid-Hudson News Network


MONTICELLO — The Government Services Committee of the Sullivan County Legislature has adopted a resolution in support of the state keeping mechanical, lever-action voting machines.


The resolution goes to the full county Legislature later this month, though county Republican Elections Commissioner Rodney Gaebel is not sure the action will have any legal standing.


Priscilla Bassett, head of the county’s Senior Legislative Action Committee, cited several well-publicized problems with both the electronic and optical scan technologies that have been pushed by state and federal governments as part of the Help America Vote Act.


The Sullivan County resolution notes the county’s lever machines are in compliance with federal law because the state requires that ballot marking devices be made available for persons who have difficulty using the lever machines.


Gaebel said he, and Democrat Elections Commissioner Faith Kaplan, agree with the spirit of the resolution.


“Faith and I are not disagreeing with what you are saying,” Gaebel told lawmakers. “We actually think a lot along the same line. The only point I’m trying to make is I think is we are way past the point in time where we can do anything about it.”


If approved by the full Legislature, the resolution will be forward to the governor, the leadership of the state Senate and Assembly, state legislators representing Sullivan County and the state Board of Elections.