By Tom Grace
Cooperstown News Bureau
On Dec. 20, New Yorkers could find out what kind of new voting machines they’re getting, and how soon they’ll be installed.
On that date, federal District Judge Gary Sharpe of the Northern District of New York is scheduled to meet with federal Department of Justice lawyers and state elections officials.
The DOJ has sued New York for taking too long to install new, handicappedaccessible voting machines and has asked Sharpe to force the state to put a ballot- making device in every polling station next year.
These devices, known by brand names such as Auto- Mark, allow disabled voters to cast ballots independently. They come equipped with puff-sip, Braille and audio accessories meant to make voting easier for people with a variety of disabilities.
And they are meant to work with optical scanners, not computerized voting machines known as DREs, which have their own handicapped- accessible features.
For about three years, advocates of scanners and DREs have been vying for New York’s market, but Sharpe may have the last word, according to Lee Daghlian, a spokesman for the state Board of Elections.
``If we have to put a ballot- marking device in every polling place, I think that would be a nail in the coffin of the DRE,’’ Daghlian said Monday.
To put an AutoMark or similar device in every polling place would cost about $50 million of the $180 million in federal aid that New York has to transition to new equipment, said Daghlian.
With ballot markers already in place in 2008, most counties would probably opt to purchase scanners to make their systems complete and compliant with the federal Help America Vote Act.
Some counties might still opt for DREs, but the playing field would be tilted toward optical scanners, and the idea of scrapping about $50 million in equipment after one election cycle seems absurd, he said.
2 Otsego officials oppose ballot markers at every site
By Tom Grace
- Local News
April activities abound at Thanksgiving Home
There were many April fool jokes played here at Clara Welch Thanksgiving Home on April 1. Some of us found our door name plates turned upside down or swapped with one from another door and furniture and objects were mysteriously moved around in our rooms. The dining room was completely transformed from its usual formal setting into a hodpodge of mismatched china and … horrors, plastic tablecloths and paper napkins. Each table was decorated with a different theme, Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Easter. Christmas carols played in the background. We suspect that Dee Bouck, of Personal Care and John Santello, Activities Director, were mainly responsible for this mayhem.
Major faults revealed by spring
We have, for whatever strange reason, been hit by the spring cleaning bug.
Big crowd sees Easter Bunny arrive
More than 100 people watched as the Easter Bunny and friends arrived at Lakefront Park aboard the Cooperstown Fire Truck on Saturday.
As we understand, a proposition has been received from Sir George Prevost, governor of Lower Canada, by our government, for a suspension of hostilities between the forces of the United States and those of Great Britain under his command in the two Canadas, during we presume the pending negociations between the two governments.
- Milford takes two from CV-S
Pohl called up to Triple-A
Phil Pohl sits one step away from a big-league roster. A 2008 Cooperstown graduate, Pohl was recently promoted to the Sacramento River Cats, the Triple-A affiliate of the Oakland A's.
Film examines Lance Armstrong's fall
There's nothing more heartwarming than someone overcoming impossible odds and achieving the pinnacle of success. The last thing you want is for that story to fall apart. When it happens to an icon like Lance Armstrong it's even more difficult to accept. He is someone you'd want to admire since he was both a champion and a do-gooder. How does the public react when it all comes crashing down?
Edmonds wins unlikely Big South title
Edmonds, a 2010 Cooperstown Central School graduate and junior at Liberty, ran and won the 1500M event at the Big South Championships in Rock Hill, South Carolina on Saturday in a time of 3:55:72. Campbell's Chris Schulist finished second with a time of 3:56:53.
Landmark Inn busy under new ownership
For Robin and Fred Schneider, owning and managing the Landmark Inn Bed & Breakfast in Cooperstown is the culmination of a dream that began decades ago.
Lions Club still following vision
The Cooperstown Lions Club has a vision to give more than sight to those in need.
Astorino to host Otsego event
Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, the state Republican Party's presumptive nominee for governor this year, has accepted an invitation to be the keynote speaker at the Otsego County GOP's annual spring dinner.
Deadlines for two juried art shows near
Area artists should note the upcoming deadlines for the Cooperstown Art Association's Regional Juried Art Exhibition and National Juried Art Exhibition, with submissions for the regional show due this Friday and Saturday.
EPA deems pipeline study 'insufficient'
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has concluded that a draft report on the environmental impacts of the proposed Constitution Pipeline is "insufficient," and that a potential option of co-locating the transmission line along Interstate 88 "has not been fully evaluated."
Gibson assails opponent for relocating
RICHFIELD SPRINGS - Rep. Chris Gibson, R-Kinderhook, criticized Democratic challenger Sean Eldridge on Monday for relocating into the district in a way that "smacks of opportunism" and seeking a congressional seat despite having "virtually no experience."
Howe Caverns owner is betting on casino project|
Howe Caverns Development Chief Executive Officer Emil Galasso said Tuesday that he will today wire $1 million to a special state account in order to meet the filing deadline for proposed casino projects authorized in a state referendum last November.
Drilling appeal attracts lots of 'friends of court' briefs
Both sides of the natural gas drilling debate are lining up to become party to a potentially precedent-setting case that will determine whether municipal government has the authority to ban hydrofracking, as scores of towns throughout the state have done over the past three years.
Police seek leads in East End robbery
State police at Oneonta are seeking public assistance in a reported armed robbery that occurred Saturday at the Convenience Express at 5374 State Route 7 in Oneonta.
Week in Review: Council parts ways with city manager
This weekend feature offers a recap of the week's top local stories:
Killer David Dart to go before parole board in May
Though rejected for parole less than two months ago, convicted killer David Dart, serving 25 years to life in prison for the September 1989 knifing murder of 18-year-old Gillian Gibbons in Oneonta, will get another crack at release in May.
- April activities abound at Thanksgiving Home