Legislature tries again to resolve voting system dispute
By MARC HUMBERT
AP Political Writer
ALBANY, N.Y. -- Ten New York state lawmakers sat down Monday in the latest attempt to resolve differences over how to comply with the federal Help America Vote Act and bring new voting machines to the state. They didn't.
After arguing, reasonably civilly, for more than an hour, the leaders of the joint Senate-Assembly conference committee agreed to meet again, possibly later this week.
The sides continued their basic disagreement over who should control the process. The state Senate's Republican majority wants to leave much of the decision-making up to the state Board of Elections. Democrats who control the Assembly want the Legislature to largely spell out how things will run.
Keith Wright, a Manhattan Democrat and chairman of the Assembly Election Law Committee, derided the elections board as "the government equivalent of the Addams Family."
The two sides argued over what should be accepted as voter identification and how the state should decide which voting technology to allow, among other things.
"Last year, we allowed bank statements, valid photo ID, government documents, utility bills. How much more do you want?" asked state Sen. Nicholas Spano, a Westchester County Republican whose narrow re-election win last year was only confirmed last month after a lengthy court battle that revolved, in part, around voter registrations.
Saying he was concerned about voter fraud, Spano told his colleagues, to much laughter, "I have lots of new ideas."
stake is more than $200 million in federal HAVA funding that
Under HAVA, the states must have their new systems in place for the 2006 elections.
Last year, a similar legislative conference committee was unable to resolve differences between the Senate and Assembly majorities. The Monday meeting was the first for a new conference committee on the issue.
Copyright © 2005, The Associated Press
FAIR USE NOTICE
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of political, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.