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From the Desk of Senator Jack Martins: June 17, 2011

A bill proposed by Senator Jack M. Martins to allow fire districts to use the traditional lever voting machines in their annual elections has passed the Senate.

Current election law requires the use of optical voting machines (scanner machines). This process would require fire districts to not only secure optical voting machines at a cost to the fire districts but also fire districts would be required to purchase a paper ballot for the scanner machines for every registered voter in the district at a cost of 55 cents each.

“This measure saves fire districts the expense of having to rent scanner machines as well as purchase paper ballots. I wanted to avoid these costs, which will ultimately be borne by our taxpayers, during a difficult economic time,” said Senator Martins. “Fire districts should be allowed to continue to use the lever machines as they have in the past so that the Democratic process can continue as it has.”

The Assembly companion bill has also passed. It was sponsored by Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel.

Senator Martins and Assemblywoman Schimel also passed a bill, which was signed into law by the Governor earlier this year, that allowed villages to use the lever machines for their elections.