Thursday marks one month since Election Day, and yet here in New York City, the Board of Elections still has not certified the election results. Officials deliberated Wednesday what reforms need to be made to streamline the process. NY1's Bobby Cuza has the story.
Staffers from the City Board of Elections were still busy counting affidavit ballots Wednesday, days after the Dec. 1 deadline and almost a full month after an election marred by long lines, equipment breakdowns and rampant confusion.
“Thank god we’re not a swing state," state Sen. Liz Krueger of Manhattan said. "Because imagine if the country was waiting for the election results and outcomes from new york city.”
Hurricane Sandy certainly made matters worse. It forced 61 polling places to be relocated.
But Board of Elections officials told a City Council committee Wednesday that Gov. Andrew Cuomo made things worse with his last-minute executive order allowing those affected by the storm to cast an affidavit ballot from anywhere.
“We did have people that were coming in that should not really have been voting in that poll site," Dawn Sandow from the Board of Elections said. "But because of the executive order, they did.”
Several changes were discussed Wednesday.
The Board of Elections said it needs more resources and the City Council said it's considering creating a new poll worker recruitment program.
The Council also said it's pushing the board to make changes such as allowing poll workers to work half day shifts.
Then there are bigger changes, like early voting, already the norm in most states.
“Implementing an early-voting system in New York City should be considered and moved on," Council Speaker Christine Quinn said. "New York should become a place that has early voting as well.”
But early voting and another controversial proposal, no-excuse absentee voting, require state approval. Albany lawmakers told the City Council they’re working on it.
Another looming issue is whether to move up next year’s primary election, including the hotly contested Democratic primary for mayor.
It could get moved up from September to June, allowing the Board of Elections more time to prepare for a possible runoff election. But that change, too, requires legislative action in Albany.