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Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

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Michael Ryan

Michael Ryan

  • Many Election Poll Workers are Placed by Party Machines, Some May Influence Votes

    poll site samar photo

    photo by Samar Khurshid/Gotham Gazette


    With a 16-hour workday, compensation at $200, and the monotony of sitting in what is often a stifling, public-school gymnasium, New York City’s tens of thousands of election poll workers have a largely thankless job.

    Mobilized only a few days most years, they are often retired or semi-retired. While unheralded, they are the frontline for the New York City Board of Elections (BOE), which, as governed by state law, is responsible for registering voters, maintaining voter records, and operating poll site locations

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  • Online Voter Registration Debate Continues, with Court Challenge Possible

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    Gov. Cuomo voting (photo via The Governor's Office)


    Last month, the New York City Council passed a bill that provides for online voter registration for city residents without requiring DMV-issued identification. With guidance from Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office allowing local jurisdictions to pass online registration measures, the bill holds up under state law. But state elections officials can’t agree on the validity of the bill, and city Board of Elections officials have yet to make a decision, portending that the matter may have

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

    de Blasio voting 2016

    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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