Lever Bill Requires Board of Elections to Declare Incompetence

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A new bill to bring back the old mechanical lever voting machines would require the New York City Board of Elections to declare that it's incapable of running a timely election on the current optical scanners. 

The bill introduced to the Assembly on Wednesday would only affect the primary and run-off elections. Voters would still use the scanners in the general election.

"This is a one-time shot at using the lever machines," said the bill's sponsor Assemblyman Michael Cusick.

To keep the Board from seeking this allowance in the future, the legislation also requires the Board to submit a report by July 2014 that details how it will handle all future elections on the optical scanner machines.

A similar bill passed the Senate last month.

Good government and disability rights advocates have consistently opposed any return of the mechanical lever machines.