New York’s State Board of Elections thinks the city Board can change the elaborate vote-counting process that caused so many problems in the Charles Rangel/Adriano Espaillat primary race, without having to change the law.
The Board has written a letter to the New York City Board, in advance of a Tuesday meeting, advising commissioners that a change in how they count ballots can be done administratively, instead of through the legislature, according to the Citizens’ Union, which has been pushing for the change. A measure to change the law, which city board legal counsel currently interprets as requiring poll workers to hand-write results from electronic ballots, instead of reporting just the electronic results, passed in the State Assembly, but was not brought to a vote in the State Senate.
“We reached out to the State Board of Elections and other elected officials’ offices, to urge them to weigh in so the board would feel comfortable going forward and changing the closing procedures, so we wouldnt see something like what we saw the other day,” Citizens Union spokesman Alex Camarda said.
“The Rangel/Espaillat situation brought a whole new urgency to it and a whole lot more attention,” he said.
Camarda said the city board’s commissioners will likely split along party lines as to whether or not they agree with the opinion of the state board counsel.
“The word of the state board has a great deal of weight,” Camarda said. “I think some of the commissioners are looking for a way forward that’s legally understandable.”
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