Mayor Takes BOE To Task Over Voting Machine Flaws
The city's Board of Elections responded Wednesday to reports of problems experienced by some voters on Primary Day, which Mayor Bloomberg is calling a "disgrace." NY1's Anthony Pascale filed the following report.
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For the second straight day, Mayor Michael Bloomberg blasted the city's Board of Elections, calling its performance on Primary Day unacceptable.
According to figures released by the BOE, 70 of the city's 1,350 polling sites failed to open on time at 6 a.m.
"Can you imagine? What if the NFL was four hours late in starting the Super Bowl -- something that you can make the case is not quite as important as Democracy and public elections. What happens if Macy's advertised a big sale with a 6 a.m. opening, but was unable to open some stores until 8 or 9 or 10 a.m.? It would never happen," said the mayor.
The Board of Elections is acknowledging there were problems. It says some machines didn't get to their locations on time because of intensive testing requirements by the state.
And what about the fact that several poll workers just never showed up? That's being blamed on new rules that require the workers' earnings be taxed.
J.C. Polanco, one of the city's 10 Board of Elections commissioners, tells NY1 the problems will be resolved by Election Day in November.
"It looks as if we had some serious logistical problems in some of the poll sites across the city," Polanco said. "We're going to address those issues. New Yorkers deserve answers and we will provide those answers."
The nonpartisan Election Protection coalition monitored Tuesday's election in the city. The group says it observed several machines not working and workers not knowing how to work the machines.
"What really exacerbated the situation was that the preparedness really wasn't what it should've been for issues like this and you had voters turned away or long lines, situations that really shouldn't have happened," said Eric Marshall of Election Protection.
The City Council has already announced it will hold hearings regarding Tuesday's voting issues. Mayor Bloomberg says he will once again propose changes to the way the city votes, including a measure that would allow residents to vote on the weekend.