State Senator Jack M. Martins, chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Local Government, passed a bill in the Senate to allow villages, school districts and special district to continue to use lever-style voting machines for their local elections and votes.
Lever-style voting machines are widely preferred by villages, school districts and special districts because of their ease and availability as opposed to alternatives, which have been found to be prohibitive both in terms of costs and practicality.
While Senator Martins has successfully passed bills to extend the use of the lever-style machines over the last two years, his latest bill (S.3705), which was passed overwhelmingly, would allow the machines to be used by villages, school districts and special districts permanently. The current law, which the Senator was responsible for passing, is due to sunset next year.
"The new scanner machines were intended to move us forward, but unfortunately were a huge step back for many,” said Senator Martins. “There are school districts, villages, and special districts that simply do not have the access to the scanners. As the law stands, their only alternative would be a paper ballot and in this day and age, it is not acceptable that we regress to a paper voting system. The prospect of our school districts and villages having to count thousands of paper ballots is absurd. Rather, the only way to ensure the integrity of every person’s vote is to allow for lever machines when scanners are not available. This bill does that."