NY Politicians Demand Reform of Troubled Board of Elections

NEW YORK -
(REUTERS/Jeenah Moon)

Members of the New York legislature have vowed to hold hearings into the state’s Board of Election’s recent high-profile and embarrassing voting tally error, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins called the BOE incident a “a national embarrassment” and said the Democrat-controlled chamber would “seek to pass reform legislation as a result at the earliest opportunity.”

Last Tuesday, June 29, the BOE released an informal vote tally on its website, then abruptly yanked the information from the web. It was soon revealed the BOE had accidentally counted an additional 135,000 fake ballots that they had been using to test the new counting software system.

The BOE said the incident had occurred due to human error.

Critics derided the BOE for its embarrassing incompetence, and those opposed to the city’s ranked-choice voting system said the incident was an example of why ranked-choice is ill-suited for the city.

“Yet again, the fundamental structural flaws of the Board of Elections are on display,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement Wednesday, blasting the independently-operated board. “I once offered the BOE over $20 million to reform themselves,” de Blasio said. “They refused, leaving legislative action as the next available recourse.”

Assemblywoman Nily Rozic, a Democrat representing Queens, is the sponsor of a bill that would require training for election commissioners and a clear and thorough understanding of their roles and would entail qualifications for the job that it currently does not expect of those involved.

The BOE is currently run by bipartisan Republican and Democratic co-executive directors.

Eric Adams, Maya Wiley and Kathryn Garcia’s campaigns have all filed preemptive lawsuits to ensure the votes are counted properly. Adams, the presumed frontrunner, currently leads Garcia by roughly 15,000 votes. However, absentee ballots have yet to counted, which could provide Garcia the support she needs to overtake Adams.

A final result is expected the week of July 12.

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smarcus@hamodia.com