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DISABLED, MILITARY MAY NOT BE ABLE TO VOTE IN MAY
Release Date: March 11, 2005

DISABLED RESIDENTS OF GREENBURGH, MEMBERS OF THE MILITARY WHO ARE SERVING OVERSEAS, THOSE ON VACATION OR ON BUSINESS TRIPS WILL NOT BE ABLE TO VOTE BY ABSENTEE BALLOT IN THE MAY 10TH REFERENDUM ON THE 20 MILLION DOLLAR LIBRARY EXPANSION. I am outraged that we are depriving residents of an opportunity to participate in the largest capital expenditure referendum in town history.

The Bond Counsel for the Town of Greenburgh– Wilkie Farr and Gallagher – has advised the Town Attorney that absentee ballots are not allowed in the absence of local registration at polling places. The town did not schedule personal registration at each of the polling places before the May 10th referendum because town officials decided not to pay for the necessary costs of hiring election inspectors to conduct special registration. There is a 1966 opinion from the Attorney General which ruled that β€œin a town which has not adopted personal registration for special registration for special elections this section does not permit absentee voting at an election.”

 

I had voted against the scheduling of this special referendum. I felt that a November referendum would have generated a larger voter turnout. During the Town Board meeting I mentioned this issue and requested that the Town Board condition any approvals (scheduling of a May 10th referendum) on a positive interpretation that the disabled will be able to vote by absentee ballot. My motion was rejected.

I believe that the Town Board should take all necessary actions, including legal steps, to make sure that the disabled, members of the military are not disenfranchised from this very important referendum. We WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT EVERY VOTE IS COUNTED AND THAT EVERYONE WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO VOTE CAN VOTE. 

WE SHOULD NOT HAVE A RE-RUN OF THE 2000 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION AND RECENT 35TH SENATE SEAT CONTROVERSY.

PAUL FEINER

GREENBURGH TOWN SUPERVISOR

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