WPCNR CAMPAIGN 2019. By John F. Bailey. August 1, 2019:
Chairman of the Board of Legislators Benjamin Boykin told WPCNR this afternoon that he expects final legal department-approved bond legislation to buy 50 ELECTION BOOKS and 30 Plan B Election Machines capable of displaying multiple district ballots to be to the Board of Legislators “shortly.”
After that authorizing legislation is provided, Boykin said it would be sent out to the Public Works Department and Budget and Appropriations committees for review, and he expected the full Board of County Legislators to approve it at the meeting of September 16 , if not earlier.
Election Books and new voting machines are the “hardware” required to enable a registered voter from anywhere in Westchester County to walk in and vote at the currently 16 designated polling places where you may vote early beginning October 26 through November 3.
Reginald Lafayette Commissioner of the Westchester County Board of Elections, told WPCNR the machines have already been ordered from companies Election Systems & Software, and Dominion Monday afternoon after an hour and a half meeting with the County Legislature Budget & Appropriations Committee Monday morning.
He expects deliveries to begin within two weeks and would begin training of force of 100 early voting election supervisors to run the 16 Early voting polling places in the county as soon as machines arrive.
He said election books and voting machines are available now because the manufacturers had anticipated the demand for the machines the early voting legislation (approved eight months ago with the New York State Budget) mandated.
Lafayette reports to WPCNR his department has been working with the County Attorney’s office for an official draft of the bond request and would have a final bill ready for the Board of Legislators “shortly”.
This afternoon, he and Boykin each estimated the cost of the Election Books and new voting machines, including training would be $750,000. He also anticipated more purchase of voting machines and Election Books for next year’s Presidential Election.
Asked if this was a dry run for next year’s early voting system, Mr. Lafayette said, “absolutely.”
In the meeting Monday morning, the issue of early voting in local elections came up, and Mr. Lafayette said currently the state legislation passed does not extend to early voting in local village and town elections. He said it is an issue the state legislature did not address.
Mr. Lafayette announced steps to prevent double-voting.
He and his Co-Commissioner Douglas Colety, would review whether to add a 17th Early Voting Polling Place at the Mamaroneck Town Center. Though it should be pointed out that the Board of Legislators had gone along with Mr. Lafayette and Mr. Colety selections of the 16 Polling places selected for Early Voting in July. Since then, the Board of Elections elminated one Mount Vernon location (leaving City Hall as the Early Voting Place), and added one in the Town of Greenburgh.
The Election Books include ballots for all election districts in the county and registered voters, Mr. Colety said Monday. At each Early Voting Location, an election official looks up the early voter’s name, and election district, then prints out a ballot for his district.
At the close of the Monday meeting, Mr. Colety explained how forgetful early voters who vote on election would be identified. He said that early voting ends November 3. The county will safeguard against “double-voting,” Colety said by running printouts by district from the Election Books of persons who have voted early by matching votes on the early voting machines at the actual Election Day on November 5.
Voters should be the alert for postcards the Board of Elections will send out prior to the start of early voting announcing where they can vote early.