Monthly Archives: January 2017

NY AG Schneiderman Alleges ‘Gross Negligence’ by City Board Of Elections

Brigid Bergin at WNYC Radio reports ” The New York City Board of Elections’ improper purge of nearly 120,000 Brooklyn voters ahead of last year’s presidential primary was just one part of wider problem that extended over two years and stretched across the city, according to an eight-month investigation by New York State Attorney General’s office.

In a motion filed in federal court late Thursday, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman alleges the board improperly removed more than 200,000 voters from its rolls, dating back to 2014. There are more than 4 million voters registered to vote in New York City.”

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Court Rules Electronic Ballot Images & Voting Records Are Subject To State FOIL

NY State Supreme Court Justice Martin D. Auffredo (Essex County) has ruled in Kosmider v. Whitney et al.  This is a significant ruling holding that copies of electronic ballot images and cast vote records are subject to the state’s Freedom of Information Law. The decision is not only historic for election administration in New York, but should  be of interest nationwide and internationally to those promoting transparency, accuracy and verification of election results.

A copy of the decision can be read here: kosmider-v-whitney-decision

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Committee Formed To Support Constitutional Convention Vote

A new private sector committee has been created by Evan Davis, a former counsel to Governor Mario Cuomo, to support the November ballot question whether to call a constitutional convention next year. The effort was outlined in a POLITICO NY article by Bill Mahoney. Davis is being joined by a group of 39 other experienced state activists, including former Lt. Governor Stan Lundine and Court of Appeal Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman.

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Is 2017 The Year New York Election Law Makes The Grade?

From Brigid Bergin at WYNYC: “the way New York runs its elections is facing scrutiny. One day after the Justice Department intervened in a lawsuit against the New York City Board of Elections for breaking federal law, a good government group is grading New York on the health of its state election law.

In report to be released Friday, Common Cause New York gave the state a D-minus for election administration — not quite a failing grade, but barely a passing one.”

A copy of the Common Cause report can be read here: https://www.scribd.com/document/336483342/NYSElectionLawReport-FINALcorrected#from_embed

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US Justice Department Litigates over NY Election Administration

Not to be overlooked, the New York Times reported in the last two days that the U.S. Justice Department is engaging in  two legal challenges against election administration in New York.

In one case, reported by Vivian  Yee,  DOJ “announced on Thursday that it had filed a motion to join a lawsuit against the New York City Board of Elections, alleging that the board’s Brooklyn office violated federal voter registration law by erasing more than 117,000 Brooklyn voters from the rolls before the primary election simply because they had not voted in previous elections.”

In the second case, also reported by Vivian Yee, “the Justice Department has notified New York State officials that it may sue the state over what it says are widespread failures to comply with a provision of federal voter registration law that requires state drivers’ license applications to double as applications for voter registration, according to a letter obtained by The New York Times.”

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National Popular Vote Forum

City & State reports on tomorrow’s 6:30 p.m. event:

“Assemblywoman Sandy Galef will host a panel discussion regarding the national popular vote and the Electoral College with Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, the New Yorker’s Hendrik Hertzberg, Iona College’s Dr. Jeanne Zaino and more, Croton Free Library, 171 Cleveland Drive, Croton-On-Hudson.”

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Old Lever Voting Machines Could Come Out Of Mothballs for NYC Runoff Elections

In Politico NY, Bill Mahoney writes about talk at the NYC Board of Elections that the old lever voting machines are being considered for runoff elections. The issue came up at a state board meeting by Commissioner Douglas Kellner.

“At issue is whether the city board can program electronic machines in time for a runoff election in this year’s citywide primary elections. Such a race would be held two weeks after the Sept. 12 primary if no candidate receives 40 percent of the vote.”

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