As the flaws in the New York City Board of Elections tabulating process are becoming increasingly exposed with the ongoing drama surrounding Congressman Charlie Rangel’s reelection bid, GOP State Senator Marty Golden says he’s got a solution.
Mr. Golden announced in a statement this evening that “in light of the events associated with the recent 13th Congressional District’s Primary Election,” he is “calling on the State of New York to adopt a number of reforms to ensure machine count accuracy when elections polls close at the end of primary and general elections.”
His legislation would consolidate precinct data, allow tally-containing portable memory devices to be more easily transported around, and directly provide unofficial Election Day totals to the media or public, as opposed to using scattered hand-counted numbers. These steps might avoid some of the odd returns reported on election night, like in Mr. Rangel’s race where he was initially shown to be up by a wide margin but subsequently saw his lead crash down to about 800 votes.
“Election night reporting is difficult and at times inaccurate, and in this day in age, we can and should do better,” Mr. Golden said. “This legislation will advance New York’s electoral system by improving transparency while giving voters peace of mind. This should be in place before this November’s election.”
However, the bill doesn’t seem to address some of the other systemic flaws of the Board of Elections, notably its patronage-based hiring process that places political allies in positions of power instead of the most qualified individuals.
(At the very least though, the legislation might help change the subject from a certain national story dogging Mr. Golden).
Democrat Brian Kavanagh is sponsoring the legislation in the State Assembly.