Common Cause NY Statement on NYC Board of Elections Decision on Memory Sticks

For Immediate Release:

Contact: Susan Lerner

July 17, 2012


Common Cause NY Statement on NYC Board of Elections Decision on Memory Sticks

In response to the New York City Board of Elections’ decision to tabulate votes using digital memory sticks, Common Cause NY Executive Director, Susan Lerner, issued the following statement:

“We are relieved to see the New York City Board of Elections finally begin to take advantage of 21st Century technology to ensure fair and accurate elections. There’s no reason our election process should resemble a 3rd grade arts and crafts project. The Congressional primary on June 26th can not be a preview for future elections, and the BOE must be proactive about problem solving for the future.

However, more fundamental change is needed for real long term reform. The cronyism by which county leaders appoint members to serve on the board leaves them more beholden to their political patrons than the election process, as is evidenced by recent events. In turn, the county leaders, most of whom are legislators, have little incentive to pass legislation to dilute their own power. Ultimately, the voters lose and repeated fiascos by the board continue to drive down the embarrassingly small number of people who participate in our elections. It’s time for a review and overhaul of election law so that our statutes provide 21st Century procedures for 21st Century voting technology. The public must be assured that their votes are being counted quickly and accurately.”

The Board of Elections’ methodology has been under heavy scrutiny ever since the June 26th primary in the 13th Congressional District in which immediate vote tallies were dramatically inaccurate. At today’s meeting, the New York City Board agreed to adopt the streamlined procedures recommended by Common Cause NY and others for the election night unofficial tally. The Board has yet to determine whether they will adopt the consolidated procedure recommended by the State Board for the entire unofficial election night canvass.