Gotham Gazette

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Board of Elections

Board of Elections

  • Biden’s Budget Will Protect New York Elections, It Must Be Funded

    New York election (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Since Democrats reclaimed full control of New York state government in 2019, the Senate and Assembly have taken the lead in enacting a series of pro-voting rights reforms. The backlog was long, but they delivered major victories on early voting, automatic voter registration, and other pro-democracy actions with the goal of ensuring all New Yorkers have equal access to the ballot box and that our election systems are safe and secure.

    But for every

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  • Passed by Senate, NYC Board of Elections Reform Shelved by Assembly

    Board of Elections reform on the table (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    A package of reforms to the way elections are run in New York State all but died last week when the Assembly adjourned without bringing the legislation to a floor vote after they passed the Senate. That includes a sweeping bill to restructure the membership and executive leadership of the New York City Board of Elections, which has been plagued by political patronage, nepotism, and mismanagement year after year.

    While legislators

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  • Series of Voting and Election Reforms on Table for Final Days of 2022 State Legislative Session

    Out to vote (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The likelihood of Albany Democrats getting failed elections reforms back on the ballot in the next two years is dwindling as the end of the state legislative session approaches.

    Despite promising to get back on the horse immediately after a surprising referendum defeat last November, Democrats with supermajorities in both houses of the Legislaturedo not

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  • City Council Pushes for $25 Million in Next Budget for Implementation of Noncitizen Voting

    Then-Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez leads a rally for noncitizen voting (photo: William Alatriste/NYC Council Media Unit)


    In January, the “Our City, Our Vote” law went into effect, allowing hundreds of thousands of noncitizens in New York City to vote in municipal elections. While there’s many months until they’ll be able to cast their votes, the New York City Council wants city officials and election administrators to be well prepared and conduct outreach to raise awareness, and is calling for $25 million in the next city budget to fund the implementation of the law.

    The new ...

  • NYC Campaign Finance Board Continues Crackdown on Lack of Disclosures by Independent Spenders

    City Hall (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayoral Photo Office)


    The New York City Campaign Finance Board is expected to take action Thursday against a slate of political action committees (PACs) as the agency continues to audit the 2021 city elections. The alleged violations range from failing to report contributions to not disclosing the individuals behind a corporate donor – gaps that make it difficult to track the flow of tens of thousands of dollars spent to influence voters.

    They involve five entities known as independent

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  • Legislators to Introduce Bill to Reform New York City Board of Elections

    Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office

    Voting in NYC (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    State lawmakers are amending a bill that could change the make-up and management structure of the New York City Board of Elections in an attempt to make the troubled agency more effective and accountable.

    "We've been working with both the State Board of Election for guidance, many election lawyers, many people familiar with the problems that the city has had forever with their

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  • Max Politics Podcast: Senator Liz Krueger on Assessing the Governor's Budget and Top 2022 Priorities

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    State Senator Liz Krueger (photo: NY Senate)


    January 19, 2022 - Max Politics Podcast: Senator Liz Krueger on Assessing the Governor's Budget and Other 2022 Priorities

    State Senator Liz Krueger, chair of the Senate's finance committee, joined the show to discuss Governor Kathy Hochul's Executive Budget and the hearings Krueger will soon hold on it, as well as other priorities for the Manhattan Democrat including ethics and elections reforms, implementation of the state's marijuana legalization, and more.

    Listen to

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  • Failure of Ballot Questions Halts New York's Three-Year Expansion of Voting

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    An Albany rally for voting reform (photo: Senator Michael Gianaris)


    When New Yorkers voted down two state constitutional amendments this fall that would make it easier to vote they put a stunning stop to a three-year deluge of major statewide election reform.

    Voting rights advocates and Democratic state lawmakers are licking their wounds and looking ahead to the next legislative session, beginning in January, with a list of changes to election rules and operations, including some of the measures that just failed.

    Had

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  • City Council Democrats Appoint New Bronx Commissioner to NYC Board of Elections

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    Voting (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayoral Photo Office)


    Update: The Council Democratic conference unanimously confirmed Jodi Morales as the Bronx Democratic commissioner for the New York City Board of Elections at the December 6 meeting. At the meeting, the Council's chief compliance officer, Charles Davis, said the Bronx Democratic Party voted to nominate Morales but failed to file the paperwork with the City Clerk, leaving it up to Council Democrats to appoint her. Council Member Ben Kallos, a Manhattan Democrat, said he

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  • Republican City Council Conference Confirms GOP Half of Board of Elections

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    Election happenings (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The Republican conference of the New York City Council quietly confirmed all five GOP commissioners to the New York City Board of Elections on November 17 in a hearing with little public notice or scrutiny.

    In a six-minute hearing just six weeks before the end of this Council term, the body's three-member minority conference voted to officially install the slate of Republican commissioners for the remainder of a four-year term ending in 2024.

    The ten-commissioner New

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  • Voter Privacy Violations Will Continue Until Government Acts to Fix Them

    NYC voters voting boothVoters at the polls (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Voter data reporting laws must provide for voter privacy. Our elections are some of the most secure in all of the world, and at a time when voter confidence faces threats from false claims of fraud, it’s all the more important that voter data be held in a secure way. As cities and states seek to enhance confidence in their organizational competency and the validity of elections, statutes demanding access to auditable public election records are increasingly commonplace.

    Election data is a public good

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  • State Senate Examines Board of Elections at Oversight Hearing

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    State Senate elections hearing (photo: @CitizensUnionNY)


    The State Senate analyzed the execution of the June primary elections in a major hearing Tuesday that included testimony from election administrators for New York City and State, as well as counties, and election reform experts. The lawmakers not only examined how elections were run, but the systems and structures that undergirded their performance -- and, as many said, enabled their failures. 

    Tuesday's event was unusual in that it served as the culmination of a series of public hearings held

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  • After Voter Input, State Senate Set to Hear from Election Administrators and Reform Groups

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    Senator Zellnor Myrie (photo: NY Senate)


    After a novel round of public hearings throughout the state, the New York State Senate elections committee is gearing up to hold its traditional post-election oversight hearing, where the New York City and State boards of elections will have to answer questions about what went right and what went wrong in the primaries earlier this year.

    On September 21, lawmakers will have their perennial conversation with representatives from the boards, as well as good government groups and other election experts, where

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  • State Senate Launches 2021 Election Oversight with Series of Voter-Centered Hearings, Board Reform on Menu

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    State Senator Myrie (photo: NY Senate Media Services)


    The New York State Senate election committee may be breaking the mold of cyclical and predictable debate about voting administration and its discontents with a series of public hearings meant to broadly chronicle the experiences and ideas of voters across the state.

    The committee is holding four hearings "in every corner of the state" to give a platform to voters ahead of the traditional post-election oversight hearing where lawmakers interrogate election

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  • An Initial Look at Voter Turnout in the 2021 New York City Primaries

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    New York City voters voting (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Nearly 1 million New York City voters cast ballots in the mayoral primaries last month, according to unofficial results released by the New York City Board of Elections, marking the city's most participated-in local election in decades. While still low by historical standards, the turnout dwarfed the 2013 primaries -- the last mayoral race to have both Democratic and Republican primaries and no incumbent running -- by roughly 245,000 votes.

    Combined Democratic and

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  • New York State and City Must Come Together to Fix the Board of Elections Mess

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    Voters voting (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The latest local election debacle -- another botched effort by the New York City Board of Elections (BOE) -- is simply inexcusable. A structural overhaul to the BOE is necessary to create an accountable and transparent 21st century agency and restore voters’ faith in the city’s election system.

    Nearly every election for decades has been plagued with problems: untrained poll workers, delays in poll site openings, coordinators who don’t know how to close down the poll at night,

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  • Board of Elections Admits No Quality Control Ahead of 2020 Absentee Ballot Blunder

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    Six months after up to 100,000 Brooklyn voters received misprinted and disqualifying absentee ballots for the 2020 presidential election, the New York City Board of Elections (BOE) admitted it did not send its own staff to do quality inspections at absentee ballot vendor sites to ensure they would be able to meet the requirements of their contracts for the general election last year. It is unclear if the lack of oversight enabled the mistake but, according to the BOE, the vendor bore the costs of redistributing corrected ballots.

    The revelation comes as the embattled

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  • Max Politics Podcast: Senator Liz Krueger on Her Bill to Reform the Board of Elections

    Seantor Liz Krueger, center (photo: New York State Senate)


    June 30, 2021 - Max Politics Podcast: Senator Liz Krueger on Reforming the Board of Elections

    State Senator Liz Krueger has a bill to professionalize the New York City Board of Elections and joined the show in the wake of another BOE debacle to discuss its provisions and its chances of passage.

    Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think, on Twitter @TweetBenMax. You can listen to the show through the embedded audio below

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  • Board of Elections Sows Chaos in Mayoral Race with Errors in First Unofficial Ranked-Choice Count

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    Voters voting (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    The New York City Board of Elections began tabulating preliminary, unofficial ranked-choice votes cast in this year’s primary elections on Tuesday, offering what was thought to be a glimpse of the possible result of races across the city even though more than 120,000 absentee ballots have yet to be counted at all. But not long after the BOE published its first preliminary ranked-choice runoff in the Democratic primaries for mayor and comptroller, it became evident that errors had been made and the

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  • Ranked-Choice Voting is Coming; NYC Must Immediately Fund a Public Education Campaign

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    Voters at work (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The combination of early voting, vote-by-mail, and the desire to vote out Donald Trump made 2020 a huge year for voting in New York City. Despite long lines, when voters are given the right resources and awareness, we can raise the level of participation.  

    As we turn towards 2021, the next chapter for voting in New York City will be the implementation of ranked-choice voting (RCV) for special and party primary elections for city government positions. If properly implemented, it will

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  • Poll Workers on Their 2020 Training Experience in New York

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    Poll workers (photo: NYC Board of Elections)


    Expecting high overall voter turnout and in preparation for the first early voting period in New York for a presidential election -- which itself just saw over 1.1 million voters cast ballots -- the New York City Board of Elections scrambled to train thousands of poll workers. The COVID-19 pandemic has complicated everything this year, including election administration and voting, with absentee b...

  • De Blasio Reups 2016 Board of Elections Reform Plan in 2020

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    Mayor de Blasio after voting (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    In April 2016, just after party primary elections featuring a major error by the New York City Board of Elections, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that he would push for legislation in Albany to professionalize the day-to-day operations of the Board, among other bills that could improve the city's perennially bungled election administration and create more access to the ballot box for New Yorkers. Over four years and several poorly-run elections later, de Blasio made a similar announcement

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  • Absentee Voters Must Now Be Allowed to 'Cure' Their Ballots Under Certain Circumstances; Here's How It's Supposed to Work

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    Make sure to sign your ballot (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    Among a package of changes to New York state election law passed since the chaotic June primaries is a provision that requires the Board of Elections to notify voters when their absentee ballots are on the verge of being thrown out and give them a chance to correct certain potential disqualifications. Designed to ensure possibly tens of thousands of intended votes are actually counted, the “curing” mandate applies to a handful of often disenfranchising technicalities, but the newborn steps may add a

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  • 51,000 Workers at 1,200 Sites: Board of Elections Scrambles to Prepare for General Election

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    Council Member Laurie Cumbo at an election promotion event (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    An October 5 staffing report from the New York City Board of Elections (BOE) to state regulators shows a scramble to prepare for the general election less than a month before Election Day.

    The BOE was over a month late to submit the plan, which was required by Governor Andrew Cuomo through executive order to ensure local election administrators had the necessary

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  • The Deadline to Register to Vote is Friday; Here's How to Get Registered and Vote

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    City workers looking to register people to vote (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    The 2020 general election is well underway, and the deadline to register to vote in it in New York is this Friday, October 9.

    New Yorkers can check their registration status by using this online tool or, if they live in the city, calling the city Board of Elections at 1-866-868-3692.

    To register, or to update a registration with a new address, New Yorkers can print out ...