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Legislation allows mechanical voting machines NYC

ALBANY -- State lawmakers have passed legislation to let New York City keep using mechanical voting machines in this year's primary and runoff elections.

City primaries are scheduled Sept. 10 for mayor, comptroller, public advocate, borough presidents and the City Council.

To comply with federal law, the state switched in 2010 to optical scanners that read paper ballots. But the city's Board of Elections said it may not have enough time to reset the new machines in time for any runoffs, which are held when no candidate for citywide offices reaches 40 percent in the primary.

Under the legislation, the Board of Elections can use the old machines if necessary.

A spokesman said Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is reviewing the bill.

Also, the legislation shifted the date of any runoff from Sept. 24 to Oct. 1. That would mean a three-week instead of two-week interval between the primary and runoff contests, but the sponsors said it was aimed to avoid a conflict with a Jewish holiday, Sukkot. -- AP

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