Improving the city Board of Elections


My two-year effort to reform the operation of the city and state Boards of Election is gaining some steam due to the closeness of the congressional race in NY-13 (Harlem/NW Bronx). Some oppose my idea of transforming the city BOE into a mayoral agency because it would lose it’s impartiality. That’s an outdated red herring because no one can claim that as a mayoral agency the City Department of Investigation has been used to go after the “enemies” of a mayor. Elections should be non-partisan operations with a dedicated budget line. I favor not only retaining the ten-member Board of Election as a referee for election law matters but expanding it to include at-large representatives from the WFP, Independence and Conservative parties. Such a set-up would end deadlocks on policy decisions.

Check out the links below.

A former legislator says that the State Senate failed to pass a bill that would have prevented the vote-count problems in NY-13. [Michael Benjamin]

State Senators Marty Golden and Brian Kavanagh have a bill to fix some vote-counting problems at the B.O.E. [Celeste Katz]

Charlie Rangel gained 143 votes and now leads State Senator Adriano Espaillat by 945 votes after one day of counting paper ballots. [Douglas Montero and Sally Goldenberg]

Rep. Charlie Rangel’s lead over challenger state Sen. Adriano Espaillat increased slightly as the Board of Elections began counting absentee and and affadavit ballots yesterday. A number of counting errors have made the race much close than reported on election night. The Board of Election has come under increased scrutiny following this and other recent counting scandals. [Gotham Gazette]

Former Assemblyman Michael Benjamin, who was once deputy chief clerk at the Bronx Board of Elections, advocates reform of the city’s system – including giving control of the boards to the mayor. [State of Politics]

How would you improve the Board of Elections? Leave your comment below.

About SquarePegDem

A former state legislator turned NY Post editorial board member, thought-leader, public affairs consultant and commentator, columnist and blogger. Michael has appeared on Al Jazeera America Tonight, NY1/Inside City Hall, FoxNews.com LIVE, YNN/Capital Tonight, The Brian Lehrer Show, The Fred Dicker Show, The Capitol Press Room, and The Daily Show. His op-eds have appeared in the NY Post, City and State, The Legislative Gazette, Bronx Times, The Troy Record, Buffalo News, and the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. To schedule speaking engagements, email MBenjamin9@optimum.net.
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