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Tomorrow is election day for many towns and villages in Westchester County.
Elections are being held in Buchanan, Bronxville, Briarcliff, Croton-on-Hudson,Elmsford, Hastings, Irvington,Larchmont,Pelham, Pelham Manor, Pleasantville, Port Chester, Scarsdale, Sleepy HOllow, Tuckahoe and Tarrytown.
NY Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed into law legislation that will permit villages that administer their own elections to continue to use lever voting machines in next week's elections.
The measure was sponsored in the Senate by Senator Suzi Oppenheimer (D-Mamaroneck).
"As villages throughout Westchester County prepare for local elections on March 15, government officials expressed concerns about shifting over to the new (optical scanning) technology. Many of the villages in my Senate district came to me because they did not think they would have access to the new voting machines and the time or funds to train their staff and test the machines properly before the upcoming elections," said Oppenheimer.
A bill passed earlier this week in Albany will allow several Westchester communities to use the old lever-style voting machines for upcoming elections on March 15.
Village clerks in Larchmont, Port Chester, Scarsdale,Hastings, Bronxville,Tarrytown, Tuckahoe and Pleasantville had asked a contingent of Westchester State Assemblymembers to support and pass the legislation citing the cost and availability of the new electronic voting machines which feature optical scanning technology.
It's going to be a whole different experience for Westchester residents voting in Tuesday's primary.The long-awaited Optical Scan voting machines will be used for the first time.
The new machines are the result of Federal Legislation known as the Help America Vote Act--HAVA--which required New York State to phase out the old lever-based system and replace it with an electronically based one for improved centralized vote tallying.
Under the new system, voters are given a scannable ballot. They are then ushered to private tables resembling mini-cubicles, and given a Sharpie-type pen with which to mark their choice of candidates.
Once finished, the voter places the ballot into an automatic scanner, which looks similar to a Xerox machine, and once accepted the machine will read, "Ballot Successfully Cast." If there is a problem, the voter will have up to two more times to re-cast his vote. Extra election day assistants are expected to be on hand to help voters with the new system.
The Optical Scan System is already in use in Putnam County.
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