DOJ threatens New York with lawsuit for failing to modernize voting process

[JURIST] The US Department of Justice [official website] has indicated it may file a lawsuit against New York state for failing to modernize its voting procedures in accordance with the Help America Vote Act of 2002 [text]. The state Board of Elections [official website] has received over $220 million in federal money to upgrade voting machines, train election workers, and create a statewide database of registered voters. But the money has been gathering dust (and interest) as logjams in Albany have caused delays that have left New York behind every other state in moving towards compliance. States were supposed to have new machines in place for the 2006 elections; New York doesn't expect this to happen until September, leaving only a short amount of time to familiarize voters and poll workers with them. The Board of Elections is still holding public hearings about new voting machine regulations [press release]. New York also failed to come up with a new voter database by the January 1 deadline, and might not have it in place until December or next January. The DOJ hopes to negotiate a settlement with the state before a lawsuit needs to be filed. The New York Times has more; the Albany Times Union has local coverage.

 

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