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Board of Elections

Board of Elections

  • Crowley Appointee to Board of Elections Sees Spike in Queens Court Profits

    crowley voting

    Rep. Joe Crowley photo: @JoeCrowleyNY


    The Queens Democratic Board of Elections commissioner, who in the past has come under fire for conflicts of interest, is quickly becoming one of the highest earning recipients of Queens court patronage, Gotham Gazette has learned.

    In 2014, Jose Miguel Araujo, then the newly elected BOE president, was fined $10,000 by the city's Conflicts of

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  • Pushing Back, Board of Elections Head Insists on ‘Personal Responsibility’ for Voters

    vote here long line

    Long line of voters (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)


    The executive director of the New York City Board of Elections said at a City Council budget hearing on Friday that recent failings by the board, revealed in a WNYC report, were not entirely the BOE’s responsibility and that voters in New York needed to step up their participation and involvement in ensuring that their votes count.

    WNYC radio’s Brigid Bergin reported

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  • Investigations Into De Blasio Spurred City Reform, Renewed Calls for State Changes

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    Mayor de Blasio (photo: Edwin J. Torres/ Mayor's Office)


    Although it was recently announced that Mayor Bill de Blasio and his aides would not be charged in two separate investigations related to their fundraising activities, both cases prompted widespread calls for reform of campaign finance laws and closure of holes that allow, even encourage, a pay-to-play political culture.

    The two parallel investigations, at the state and federal levels, exposed vulnerabilities in the law that allowed the

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  • De Blasio Could Still Face Penalties in State Senate Fundraising Investigation

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    Mayor de Blasio (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)


    Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance recently concluded his investigation into the effort by Mayor Bill de Blasio and his aides to funnel campaign funds to Democratic state Senate candidates in 2014. Vance did not bring any charges in the case, writing in a ten-page letter to the state Board of Elections enforcement counsel Risa Sugarman, who had referred the case for prosecution, that “the parties involved cannot be appropriately prosecuted, given their reliance on

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  • City Continues Board of Elections Budget Dance

    Ben Kallos City Council

    Council Member Ben Kallos (photo: William Alatriste)


    Although Mayor Bill de Blasio promised after taking office that he would do away with the practice of underfunding city agencies in the preliminary budget only to later provide them with full funding, one agency that seems to suffer from this each year is the New York City Board of Elections. The budget process for fiscal year 2018 is no exception.

    The mayor’s

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  • State Senator Calls for Investigation of Opponent's Campaign Finances

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    Senator Gustavo Rivera (photo: Senate Democrats)


    A state Senator from the Bronx is calling on the state Board of Elections to investigate a former opponent’s campaign finances for violations.

    Senator Gustavo Rivera, a Democrat, alleges that the Senate campaign of Fernando Cabrera, a New York City Council Member, committed multiple violations in the Democratic primary for the District 33 Senate seat last year. In a Feb. 28 letter to the state Board of Elections, Rivera’s campaign attorney, Sarah Steiner, noted the alleged violations and asked for updates on

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  • De Blasio Appeals for Support in Pushing Albany on Voting Reform

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    Mayor de Blasio (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)


    In order to improve New York’s dismal voter turnout rates, it’s necessary to “shake the foundations of things,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio in his keynote speech at a voter turnout symposium at New York Law School on Friday.

    Speaking to an audience of more than a hundred people, many of them advocates of voting and election reform, the mayor made a forceful appeal to reinforce his recent call for reform bills in Albany. De Blasio lamented the fact that New York is well behind dozens of other states in

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  • 5 Things to Watch on Election Day in New York

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    (photo: Mayor's Office on Flickr)


    Either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will be the next President of the United States. When we know which of the two New Yorkers will be number 45 depends on how the vote unfolds. Both candidates will be in New York City on election night: Clinton holding her event at the Javits Center, Trump holding his at the New York Hilton.

    The potential historic significance of the Presidential vote should not be overlooked: Hillary Clinton could become the first woman elected President of the

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  • Board of Elections Dysfunction on Display Again Ahead of Hearing

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    Council Member Joe Borelli (photo: William Alatriste)


    The dysfunction that has seemed to define the New York City Board of Elections this year was again on display Tuesday when its executive director first declined to testify at an imminent City Council oversight hearing and within hours reversed that decision.

    With just two weeks to go before the November 8 general election, the City Council’s Committee on Governmental Operations scheduled an oversight hearing for Wednesday to gauge the BOE’s preparedness -- something

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  • Election Commissioner’s Rant Prompts Dispute Over IDNYC and Voter ID in New York

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    Mayor de Blasio & First Lady McCray arrive to vote (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    City Council Member Joe Borelli, one of three Republicans in the 51-seat City Council, on Tuesday called for a hearing on voter fraud and said that he supports a statewide voter identification law to combat potential fraud. Borelli’s calls came after the release of a secretly-recorded video that showed a Democratic

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  • Fixing City's 'Non-Functioning' Board of Elections Relies on State

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    Mayor de Blasio votes (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Many eyes will be on the New York City Board of Elections come Tuesday as New Yorkers head to the polls for the second time this year, casting their votes in congressional primaries. The first election, April’s presidential primaries, was so problematic it prompted multiple city and state authorities to launch investigations into

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  • Government Operations Budget Hearing Leaves Several Questions Unanswered

    DCAS testimony May 13

    DCAS testimony (photo: William Alatriste)


    With four agencies testifying over the course of several hours, a Friday executive budget hearing held by the City Council’s governmental operations committee, along with the finance committee, had a lot of ground to cover on important issues like election administration and law department function. Two of the agencies testifying have even been sources of controversy in recent months and the hearing was an opportunity for Council members to air their concerns and get some answers. At many points during the hearing, however,

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  • Board of Elections to Face City Council Questioning

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    Voting (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    When the presidential primaries hit New York last month, they landed with a frenzy and, in New York City, something of a thud. Not only did the Democratic and Republican contests include candidate competition around the city and state, but the city Board of Elections added an entirely other bit of far less welcome drama.

    Over 100,000 missing Brooklyn Democratic voters from the rolls and widespread complaints of mismanagement - ...

  • Vance Has Ties to Several in De Blasio Probe

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    Cy Vance (front) and Bill de Blasio (photo via The Mayor's Office on flickr)


    Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance finds himself in a unique situation as he takes on the investigation of efforts led by Mayor Bill de Blasio to win control of the state Senate for Democrats in 2014.

    Vance has a longstanding political relationship with de Blasio and both share a number of donors. Like de Blasio, Vance is an elected Democrat. They’ve stood together for several policy announcements over the past two-plus years since de Blasio took office as

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  • Conflict of Interest, Leaked Memo Cloud De Blasio Accusations

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    De Blasio (photo: Demetrius Freeman/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The revelation that it was Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s chosen enforcement counsel at the Board of Elections who sparked an investigation into Mayor BIll de Blasio’s fundraising activities, in the mayor’s 2014 effort to flip control of the state Senate, has raised a number of questions about motivation and independence.

    De Blasio has asserted his innocence, saying that he and his associates followed the letter of the law. He and his lawyer have used Risa Sugarman, the BOE enforcement counsel who used

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  • Despite Concerns, BOE Commissioners Call De Blasio Referral Valid

    de blasio testifying

    De Blasio (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio and his allies are under investigation for using a common fundraising tactic employed in legislative races across the state. Risa Sugarman, the state Board of Elections enforcement counsel hand-picked by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, kick-started the investigation with a criminal referral to Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance. Now, as controversy swirls around the mayor, the degree to which he and his team exploited state election law could be what the case hinges on, experts

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  • As Problems Persist, City Council to Examine Board of Elections

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    Mayor de Blasio voting (via The Mayor's Office @BilldeBlasio)


    On Tuesday, April 19, thousands of New Yorkers cried foul about how the city was running the state’s most consequential presidential primary elections in decades. Polling sites opened late. Ballot scanners failed. About 125,000 Democratic voters were purged from the Brooklyn rolls while others found their party affiliation had inexplicably changed. While many pointed to what is seen as typical city Board of Elections dysfunction, complaints from across the city prompted a strong official response.

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  • There's a Long List of Voting Reforms New York Can Pass

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    AG Schneiderman votes (photo via @AGSchneiderman)


    Voter participation has been on the decline across the country for decades now, but is especially poor in New York, where only 29 percent of those eligible cast their votes in the 2014 general elections for state-level positions, including Governor. Whether you measure by eligible or registered

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  • New York Voting Results: Presidential Primary and Special Elections

    boe vote here sign

    image via the NYC BOE


    With New York relevant in the presidential primaries for the first time in decades and both major political parties coming into the state's vote with competitive races, much of Tuesday was dominated by problems with the New York City Board of Elections and criticism of New York State's antiquated voting rules.

    Even as New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer announced an audit of the city BOE and many New Yorkers complained about laws keeping them from casting their ballots, more than 2 million voters across New York State made their choices

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  • City Criticized for Again Lowballing Elections Budget

    kallos talking

    Council Member Ben Kallos (photo: William Alatriste)


    When the city's new fiscal year begins in July, the Board of Elections will be readying to administer two elections before the close of the 2016 calendar year: September primaries and the November general, which will include the presidential contest. This, after running elections in April and June.

    To fulfill its duties and ensure smooth electoral processes, the BOE will need to hire and train thousands of poll workers, hold state-mandated voter registration drives and, given unforeseen circumstances,

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  • Bill Mandates Board of Elections Emergency Plan

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    City Council Member Mark Treyger, left (photo: William Alatriste) 


    New York City is no stranger to calamity, be it natural or man-made, and many city agencies have emergency response plans for varying levels of crisis. On Wednesday, City Council Member Mark Treyger will introduce a bill to ensure that the Board of Elections, which administers voting in the city, joins these agencies in formulating its own disaster-preparedness procedures for conducting the polls.

    "We have to make sure that democracy perseveres through a crisis," Treyger told

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  • Boards to Offer Peek Into New Ways to Access Campaign Finance Data

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    (photo via @NYCCFB)


    On Friday morning representatives from both the New York State Board of Elections and the New York City Campaign Finance Board will come together to outline updates to their reporting systems and take questions from candidates, journalists, watchdogs, and others.

    John Kaehny of Reinvent Albany, the good government group hosting the event along with Civic Hall, where it will take place, said he is most excited to have representatives

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  • As Sheldon Silver Heads to Trial, A Democratic Challenger is Poised to Run

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    Paul Newell at a housing rally (via @NewellNYC)


    Manhattan District Leader Paul Newell is gearing up for his second bid to replace Assemblymember Sheldon Silver. Newell told Gotham Gazette that he has started fundraising and is "close to running." A political lifetime ago, in 2008, Newell ran a grassroots campaign to unseat Silver, who was then at the height of his power.

    Things have changed since then. Silver was indicted on multiple corruption charges earlier this year and then deposed from the Assembly speakership that he

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  • Candidates Allege Wright Unfairly Influences Elections

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    Keith Wright at the Puerto Rican Day Parade (photo: @KeithWright2016)


    Afua Atta-Mensah, candidate for female district leader in Harlem's 70th Assembly District, had no illusions that running for office for the first time would be easy. But after campaigning against the entrenched Harlem political machine all summer she wonders if she would do it again. "Any newcomer is not taken kindly when they are running against the machine," said Atta-Mensah, a public

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  • For 'A Better New York,' Activists Lobby Albany for Election Reform

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    Activists in Albany (photo: @NYCVotes)


    On a crisp Wednesday morning, two buses pulled up outside the New York State Capitol in Albany. Their cargo: a delegation of about 100 students, volunteers, and good government activists who travelled from New York City to advocate for voting reform.

    It was the second annual "Vote Better NY" Advocacy Day for Election Reform organized by NYC Votes, a non-partisan voter engagement initiative run by the New York City Campaign Finance Board (CFB) and its Voter Assistance

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