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Board Of Elections Concerned About Potential Runoff In Mayor's Race

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New York City Board of Elections officials say it's going to take a lot of money, and some extra time, to make sure that this year's race for mayor goes off without a hitch, and they took their case to the City Council Monday for a bigger budget and a revised election calendar. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.

The New York City Board of Elections is already lowering expectations.

"I am sure that this is going to be a lesson learned election," said Dawn Sandow, deputy executive director of the New York City Board of Elections. "Just like 2010, when we first rolled out the new electronic voting system, there were many lessons learned. Well, this is a first for us."

The board told the City Council on Monday it isn't prepared to run this year's mayor's race, saying it won't have enough time to prepare for a potential runoff.

"It's a better bet to bet we'll have a runoff than not have it, but there is no funding in place," said Steve Richman of the New York City Board of Elections.

A runoff occurs if a candidate doesn't get 40 percent of the vote in a citywide primary, an almost certainty in a crowded field.

The board said that with new electronic voting machines, it can't certify the results of the primary in the two-week period before a potential runoff, so board officials said they want the mayor and the council to give them millions more to prepare.

They also want the state Legislature to move any potential runoff back one week, from September 24 to October 1.

"We've already passed the bill moving the runoff date," said Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. "We're hopeful the Senate will join us."

The state Senate has passed its own version. It moves the date, but also allows the board to bring back old voting machines.

"As of yet, no reconciliation," Richman said.

Board officials said their options are limited. They said that if none of these proposals go through, they are not exactly confident this year's election will run smoothly.

"The board will do its best efforts given the resources given, but it clearly makes the process much more difficult," Richman said.

City Council Speaker and 2013 mayoral frontrunner Christine Quinn wouldn't say whether the board would get the extra cash to prepare, but she did offer a warning.

"The board of elections has to get their job done," she said. "They have some major elections coming up. They need to get their job done, and they need to conduct all of their elections in a highly competent manner."

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