Fight To Keep Old Voting Machines From Sticking Around

Aug 9, 2014

Credit WXXI photo

Being allowed to use the old lever voting machines in local elections around New York State is being called a "huge step backwards."

That's according to David Sutliff-Atias, the assistant director of advocacy at the Center for Disability Rights in Rochester.

Disability advocates are calling on Governor Cuomo  to veto, for the second time, a bill that permitted communities to use the outdated machines during last year's election. Atias says with the introduction of this bill again in 2014, it’s evident that lawmakers have no intention of eliminating lever voting machines anytime soon.

Atias says the lever machines aren't acceptable for people with disabilities.            

"Obviously people with visual impairments not being able to read what’s on there. People with mobility issues, particularly with their arms, can't reach the levers...."

In 2002, the Help America Vote Act, required states to rid of the lever machines.

Atias says a number of disabled people plan to form a group called the New York Disability Vote Network to fight for equal access to the ballot.