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Board of Elections

Board of Elections

  • Ahead of Election Day, Comptroller Audit Highlights Board of Elections Dysfunction

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    Comptroller Scott Stringer (photo courtesy of Comptroller's office)


    Just four days before voters head to the polls on Tuesday, November 7, New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer released a damning report highlighting the dysfunctional election operations of the New York City Board of Elections, a quasi-city agency that administers elections in the city.

    Stringer’s audit was launched in response to the BOE’s purge of more than 117,000 voters from the rolls in Brooklyn last year, ahead of the April presidential primary. The purge prompted widespread outrage, triggering an investigation by the

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  • Public Advocate Candidate Outlines Election Reform Agenda

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    JC Polanco on BronxNet


    With candidates vying for votes ahead of New York City’s September primary and November general elections, many in and around campaigns know that the state’s antiquated election laws will, in part, ensure that a small percentage of potential voters will cast ballots among limited choices.

    One candidate, Juan Carlos Polanco, known as J.C., is currently the presumptive Republican nominee for Public Advocate and has released an extensive package of proposed reforms to New York voting laws.

    As a former member of the New York City Board of

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  • In Manhattan, District Leader Maps Redrawn Last Minute and Hard to Find

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    Kim Moscaritolo and Adam Roberts, district leaders for Manhattan's Assembly District 76, Part B


    While much of the media and public’s attention is focussed on New York’s mayoral and City Council races, lesser known elections are also slated to take place this fall.

    On primary day, September 12,

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  • Longshot Mayoral Hopeful Outraises & Outspends Opponents, Technically

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    Michael Tolkin (center) at a Reform Party forum (photo: Tolkinformayor.com)


    Michael Tolkin, a 32-year-old tech entrepreneur who is among over a dozen long-shot candidates running to unseat New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, appears to have outspent every other contender in the race, including the mayor, with a $5 million in-kind contribution to his own campaign.

    An in-kind contribution is one in which goods or services instead of cash are given to a campaign, and in this case the entire contribution is also listed as an expenditure towards “campaign literature and

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  • Rochester Mayor Accused of Circumventing Campaign Finance Rules

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    Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren (via Facebook)


    Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren is drawing scrutiny for apparently using a political action committee she founded in 2015 help finance her 2017 re-election campaign and for repeatedly accepting over-the-limit contributions from business interests, as shown by her campaign finance records.

    The Warren for a Strong Rochester PAC can accept virtually unlimited donations, but like other donors, the PAC is prohibited from

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  • Cuomo Refuses to Comply with Trump Election Commission Request

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    New Yorkers cast their votes for President (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayoral Photo Office)


    New York has joined the ranks of states refusing to comply with a request for voter information sent yesterday by Kris Kobach, the Kansas Secretary of State and vice chair of the newly-created federal Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.

    “We will not be complying with this request and I encourage the Election Commission to work on issues of vital importance to voters, including ballot access, rather

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  • 8%! New Report Shows Shockingly Low Voter Turnout in NYC

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


    A recent report by New York City’s Board of Elections details shockingly low voter turnout in the 2016 congressional and state primary elections. The new numbers come amid increased attention to New York’s suppressive voting laws but little action from state lawmakers who could implement reforms like early voting, same-day registration, automatic voter registration,

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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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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