The first bill sponsored by Senator Jack M. Martins, chairman of the Senate’s Standing Committee on Local Governments, passed in the New York State Senate and is one that hits close to home. Senator Martins, who served as a village mayor for eight years, worked on an emergency bill that allows villages to continue to use lever machines in time for their upcoming elections. That bill passed both houses of the Legislature and now Senator Martins is calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo to sign it.
"We sent him a bill that makes sense, saves taxpayers money and makes sure we preserve the integrity of our voting system while the county boards of election continue the transition to the new machines," Senator Martins said.
When state election law mandated the use of scanner machines, it left Long Island villages in the lurch. With scanner machines not available, villages would be forced to use the paper ballots without the machines at a cost of 55 cents each not to mention the time and manpower it would take to count the ballots.
The bill protects the Democratic process for village elections by ensuring that villages are not saddled with an additional expense and inconvenience. "It’s important we protect the integrity of the upcoming village elections so that local mayors and boards can continue governing their villages. As a former mayor of eight years, I am attuned to the needs of our local communities. It’s important we give the villages the relief they need. I’m hopeful Governor Cuomo will be signing the legislation in time for the March 15 village elections," Senator Martins said.