Election Officials Fear Poll Workers Won’t Show Up on Nov. 3

The city Board of Elections says it doesn’t have enough money to pay for the upcoming November 3 general election.

In an October 15 letter sent to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and others, the agency’s chairman and executive director wrote, “Due to the failure of the city to provide sufficient funding for the Board to discharge its Constitutional and statutory obligations, the BOE does not have the necessary funding to enable it to meet its financial obligations to vendors and poll workers for the General Election to be held on Tuesday, November 3, 2009.”

Without at least $7 million, the agency said “poll workers will not show up to work on Election Day knowing that they will not be compensated for their efforts and would imperil the voting rights of the city’s more than 4 million voters and expose the city to additional liability under the Federal Voting Rights act of 1965.”

UPDATE: A spokesman for Bloomberg said money is in place to cover the November 3 elections, and that this kind of budgeting issue has happened before.

“The dollars are in place for the Board of Elections to fully fund the general election. The Board’s budget never includes extra funding for potential special elections or runoff elections that may or may not occur. Any time a run off or special election occurs, that bill is subsequently paid by the City. The funding has been provided this way for years and it will be done that way again this year. The Board can spend the full amount originally budget for November 3rd,” spokesman Marc LaVorgna wrote in an email.

  Election Officials Fear Poll Workers Won’t Show Up on Nov. 3