Calls to reform NYC Board of Elections intensify

New York Elections

NEW YORK — One mistake threw the NYC Democratic mayoral primary into chaos.

There are now intensified calls to reform the board of elections.

former BOE President J. C. Polanco explains that overhauling the board would likely take years. 

“The Board of Elections gets its authority through the state constitution,” Polaco told PIX11 News. 

As mandated by the state constitution, New York City’s Board of Elections is run by 10 commissioners. All 10 are chose by the Democratic and Republican party bosses of each borough. 

Manhattan State Senator Liz Krueger believes she’s found a way to add more oversight without the lengthy process of changing the state’s constitution. 

“You can pass a law and I’ve drafted one,” Senator Krueger explained. “You have two co-Executive Directors. They are hired by the elected officials who run the city of New York, and they can be fired by them.”

Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins has now vowed to hold hearings in Albany on how to make changes to the Board of Elections.

But Sen. Krueger believes many of the Democratic and Republican party leaders will not want to give up the power they have to selection Board of Elections Commissioners. 

“Part of the problem of course is a lot of those county party leaders are actually members of the state legislature,” she said.

Polanco has a recommendation for the current Board of Elections that could be implemented immediately: more transparency. 

“Consider having press conferences,” Polanco suggested. “So that the reporters in the media and the opinion makers get to ask you questions.”

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