Letter to the Editor:
Too much is at stake in the next few months leading up to the November 3 Presidential election. We don’t want to repeat the Board of Elections (“BOE”) fiascos that happened in the June 23 primary. The BOE needs to get their act together, prepare before the voting begins by addressing the problems NOW.
The BOE needs to:
- Recruit & Train Poll Workers, Recruit & Train Observers, Prepare Mailing Infrastructure and Educate the Voters.
- Voter Registration & Maintenance of Poll Books
- Explain to voters the Absentee Ballot application and mailing process required by the BOE.
- Receipt of ballots by voters, Counting & Tracking of ballots, and USPS issues.
- Consider Drop-Off Boxes or Drive-In Balloting
- Day before the election ballot counting should begin.
Many voters were unaware of the following June 23 issues:
- BOE postcards never arrived at voter addresses.
- Gave voters incorrect polling places.
- Polling places not vetted early enough.
- Voter Registration need guarantee of back-up print poll books at polling places.
- Many voters’ records had been dropped. Design of the ballots were difficult to understand or completed thoroughly.
You thought your vote got counted, maybe not. It’s our responsibility to hold the BOE accountable for their mishaps and start to correct the problems ASAP. The BOE needs to know we’ve been educated and we have our eyes on them.
A new day is coming. If you, like myself, want a new government in power that has our best interests in mind vote in the Presidential election. Change can only happen if we make it happen.
Karen Sevell Greenbaum
New Yorker voters are poorly served by a system that places responsibility for elections in the hands of highly partisan Boards of Elections Commissioners, one from each party, who then hire staff based on party loyalty rather than competence. I suppose we can be thankful that some of these staff members are actually able to perform the important functions necessary to conduct elections. However, even without a crisis, New York elections are only a snow storm or power outage away from disaster. As we saw in June, the COVID-19 pandemic placed a burden on the system that Boards of Election in many jurisdictions were unable to overcome. Once we stagger through the 2020 election cycle, the New York Legislature must take a long look at overhauling the state’s election system, starting with the disfunction in the leadership of our Boards of Election.