De Blasio Reups 2016 Board of Elections Reform Plan In 2020

Ethan Geringer-Sameth writes in the Gotham Gazette “In April 2016, just after party primary elections featuring a major error by the New York City Board of Elections, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that he would push for legislation in Albany to professionalize the day-to-day operations of the Board, among other bills that could improve the city’s perennially bungled election administration and create more access to the ballot box for New Yorkers. Over four years and several poorly-run elections later, de Blasio made a similar announcement this week, declaring support for a State Senate bill that was first introduced in 2017, along with other unspecified legislative fixes to the Board of Elections’ bi-partisan and patronage-driven model.”

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NYC Board Of Elections Way Understaffed At large-Volume Early Voting Sites

In the New York Post, Nolan HicksRachel GreenReuven Fenton and Carl Campanile write “The embattled city Board of Elections mismanaged key facets of its early voting program, The Post has learned, including allocating ballot scanners with little regard for demand and stuffing so many voters into balloting sites that it overwhelmed its system.

The examination of the BOE’s preparations comes as thousands of New York City voters again faced hours-long lines Wednesday to cast their votes in the hotly contested 2020 general election, giving the patronage-ladened agency its latest black eye.”

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NYS Bar Association Report On The Presidential Election

The New York State Bar Association Task Force on the Presidential Election has released a report on the constitutional and statutory procedures involved in the way a president is elected. You can read it here.

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State Redistricting Committee Meets; Selects 2 Members; Asks for Funds

The State Redistricting Commission met this morning via teleconference and selected two additional members:
Dr. Ivelisse Cuevas-Molina, a political science professor at Fordham University
Ross Brady, a Brooklyn attorney who is the administrator at Union Temple in Brooklyn

The Commission is seeking the $750,000 funding allocated in this year’s state budget for commission operations. A letter was sent by the members to the Division of the Budget and legislative leaders.

While the Republican co-executive director has been identified by the Senate and Assembly minority commissioners, the Democratic commissioners have not yet selected a co-executive director. No staff can be hired unti funding is provided.
The next commission meeting will be held on Wednesday, October 7 at 11:00 AM to check on the status of the two new member appointments and to discuss other pending issues.

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State Redistricting Commission Meets Today

30 SEP 2020Online Event
Online Virtual Meeting11:00 AMAdd to Calendar

independent_redistricting_commission_meeting_notice_september_30.pdf

SUBJECT: Meeting of the Independent Redistricting Commission

PURPOSE: To convene the eight appointed members of the New York State Independent Redistricting Commission to appoint two additional members

Pursuant to Article III, Section 5-b of the New York State Constitution and Section 94 of the Legislative Law, the New York State Independent Redistricting Commission shall be established to determine the district lines for congressional and state legislative offices. The eight previously appointed members of the Commission will meet to appoint two additional members who shall not have been enrolled in the preceding five years in either of the two political parties that contain the largest or second largest number of enrolled voters within the state. Appointment of the final two members to the Commission shall complete the composition of the Commission.

The meeting of the Independent Redistricting Commission shall be open to the public and shall be streamed online and displayed by using the link above. A recording of the meeting will be available to the public.

Members of the Independent Redistricting Commission

David Imamura           Elaine Fraizer
John Flateau                Eugene Benger
George Winner            Charles Nesbitt
Jack Martins                Keith Wofford

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New York Will Allow Voters to Cast Mail-In Ballots

In the New York Times, Luis Ferre-Sadurni reports “New York State will allow most voters to cast their ballots by mail in the November general election, joining a growing list of states that have expanded mail-in voting to address the potential spread of the coronavirus at polling places.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a third-term Democrat, signed a bill on Thursday allowing voters to request an absentee ballot if they cannot show up at a polling location because of the risk of contracting or spreading an illness, effectively permitting the state’s more than 12 million registered voters to vote by mail.”

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Cuomo Signs Bills Expanding Absentee Ballot Access

Nick Reisman reports in State of Politics: “A three-part package of bills that are meant to expand access to absentee ballots and ensure they are received by Election Day was signed onto law on Thursday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. 

The measures come amid heightened concerns around absentee and mail-in voting ahead of the November general election.  

Cuomo in a statement pointed to the ongoing funding controversies surrounding the U.S. Postal Service that has led to Democrats raising concerns over whether ballots would arrive on time by Election Day. 

“The federal administration has ordered an unprecedented attack on the U.S. Postal Service and with COVID-19 threatening our ability to have safe, in-person voting, these measures are critical to ensuring a successful and fair election at one of the most important moments in our nation’s history,” Cuomo said.”

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Board of Elections to Appeal Absentee Ballot Case

In State of Politics, Nick Reisman reports “Top officials at the state Board of Elections on Tuesday announced they would appeal a federal judge’s order to count absentee ballots in New York City that had been invalidated, in many cases due to the lack of a postmark. “

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Rochester’s Census Response Rate Is Among The Lowest In The Nation.

Brian Sharp and Adria R. Walker take a look at Rochester’s extremely low census response rates in the Democrat & Chronicle “Rochester has the nation’s fourth worst response rate to the 2020 census of any medium or large-sized city.

Months into the count, records show that just 48% of residents have responded.

The deadline remains some time off, and local organizers are confident numbers will improve dramatically. It’s important that they do, as the data collected determine congressional representation and how billions in federal dollars are allocated, while providing a snapshot of who we are.”

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NY Legislature to Hold Hearing On Independent Redistricting

Robert Harding writes in auburnpub.com “New York lawmakers will hold a hearing later next week to review the state’s new independent redistricting process. 

The hearing will be held Wednesday, July 15. It will be led by the Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment, which has been responsible for overseeing redistricting in the past, the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Assembly Government Operations Committee.”

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