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Lever machines may return for village elections

You may have not seen the last of those old, lever-style voting machines.

Villages across New York will be able to use the old models in next month’s elections, if a bill passed Monday by the State Legislature becomes law.

Sponsored by two Nassau County lawmakers, the bill gives villages a short reprieve before switching to new, optical-scan voting machines. Towns and cities used the new machines last fall, but not all villages can get the machines reprogrammed and ready for use by March 15, the day most are holding elections this year, said Assemb. Michelle Schimel (D-Great Neck).

“Each machine has to be reprogrammed and they have indicated, village-by-village, that they would not be able to do it” in time, said Senate sponsor Jack Martins (R-Mineola). It was the freshman senator’s first bill to be passed by the chamber.

The bill would allow villages to use lever-style machines until Dec. 31, 2012, if it’s signed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. While a Cuomo spokesman could not be reached immediately for comment, no opposition to the measure has surfaced to date.

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