In the drab downtown offices of the city Board of Elections for more than two hours Tuesday, open government was on full display.
There was the one woman who waited patiently until the end to make a formal complaint to remove a voter who registered at her Queens address, but who is actually living in Norway.
There was another woman who stood at the podium and was impassioned, but, well, also a bit incomprehensible. So it goes.
These folks followed presentations by two voting machine vendors displaying their wares. All in public, the way it is supposed to be.
Which is why it is very troubling that the Board’s two top employees wrote a letter last week to the state Board of Elections, “upon the unanimous direction of the Commissioners of Elections in the City of New York,” asking for permission to use a new machine for early voting that has not received state certification.
Hold up. The 10 commissioners have never had a public discussion on such an important subject. Private talks are a dodge around the Open Meetings law.
Of 11 weekly meetings this year before Tuesday’s, only twice did the board’s public sessions run longer than the closed secret session, which is supposed to be just for personnel matters and litigation.
The Board of Elections is there to safeguard our democracy on our behalf. It should act like it.