In a strong statement made today, New York City's Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg urged New York state officials and elected leaders to "kick start" the State Board of Elections and to "expedite the testing and certification process of new voting machines."

Last year, New York became the last state in the nation to pass the 2002 Help America Vote Act, and Bloomberg says that it will be impossible for the sate to be in compliance by the 2007 elections, which the Act requires.

"The perpetual foot-dragging at the State Board of Elections has resulted in a situation where, five years after the Federal government passed the Help America Vote Act, the State Board of Elections has only just begun to test and certify machines ... That will make it all but impossible to acquire, test, and deploy machines -- as well as train workers and educate New Yorkers -- in time for the 2007 elections," Bloomberg stated.

Bloomberg is set to attend a demonstration of new voting machines this afternoon, one of which will be chosen to replace the 40 year old machines New York uses.

"I urge our elected officials to work with me to push for improvements to the entire elections system, so that we can give voters and taxpayers what they deserve: an accountable, professional, innovative, customer service-driven elections agency."

Gina M. Scott  |  Writer