State, City Board of Elections Clash Over Removal of Thompson, Hunter and Keyes From Ballot

Republican commissioners on the state Board of Elections in Albany voted to remove Fred Thompson, Duncan Hunter, and Alan Keyes from the Republican presidential primary ballot on February 5. However, the Democratic commissioners did not vote.

When the city Board of Elections voted today, they were split. A source there told me, “The commissioners voted to act on this directive from the state board, and they split four to four, on party lines, with a question about the validity of this so-called directive.” (The question of validity stems from the fact that the state Democratic commissioners did not weigh in–“There’s not general, universal agreement on that,” said Bob Bhrem, the Democratic spokesman for the State Board of Elections).

A spokesperson for the city’s Board of Elections could not immediately be reached. The real question is, what happens now?

“I don’t know,” Bhrem said. “There’s probably 68,000 voting machines and it takes a certain amount of time to make changes on those machines.”

He said it would take about 2,300 person hours to make the changes in New York City, and that’s just for the voting machines at polling places. “There’s another question about emergency ballots, absentee ballots,” Bhrem added.