County Pulling Voting Machine Debate In Opposite Directions
Published: June 9th, 2009
By: Melissa deCordova

NORWICH – Chenango County appeared to be pulling in opposite directions Monday with lawmakers adopting a resolution to stay with the old-fashioned, lever-operated voting machines and the elections office agreeing to participate in a pilot test of the new, optical scanner system.

Board of Supervisors Chairman Richard B. Decker, R-North Norwich, who personally offered the resolution before the board, said he didn’t know the Chenango County Board of Elections had agreed to the pilot.

“This is the first I’ve heard of it,” he said yesterday. “We should have said, ‘No.’ We don’t want to be guinea pigs.”

Decker’s resolution comes on the coattails of similar moves made recently in Sullivan, Columbia, Dutchess, Essex, Greene, Rensselaer, Schuyler, Ulster, Warren and Washington counties. The Association of Towns of the State of New York has passed a similar measure rejecting the new machines.

Decker said he receives approximately three calls a week from a constituent who asks him to stay with the lever machines. The chairman’s resolution, which was adopted by the full board yesterday, states the cost to taxpayers for the new machines will be “insurmountable and severely strain and possibly break the budgets of all counties in this time of economic crises.”


The Evening Sun

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