The Board of Elections in the City of New York Response to the New York State Board of Elections Submissions Regarding the June 26, 2012 Federal Primary The movement of the 2012 Primary for Non-Presidential Federal Offices (Federal Primary) to June 26, 2012 has introduced a number of operational and technical problems for the Board of Elections in the City of New York because of the coupling of the Court Order with the redistricting changes to the Congressional Districts and the requirement to complete the Presidential Primary under present district lines. Although these events are approximately two months apart, the preparation for Federal Primary and the completion of the Presidential Primary overlap considerably. This requires that the Board of Elections in the City of New York maintain two voter ED/AD assignments, both operational at the same time. Our present computer and operational systems and procedures do not have the capability to address this requirement. Modification to our systems would require significant reprogramming and resource allocations to program, test and implement the necessary changes. Moreover, we would have an additional redistricting cycle for the Congressional Districts which would be extremely compressed as we will be sent Assembly/Senate District Lines for total redistricting which we must complete for the 2012 State and Local Office Primary and General Election. Because of the knowledge level required to address our systems this is not a situation where increasing manpower or shifting resources would be practical. This work would impact: 1. Our systems and technical support for the Special Election for the 27th Senatorial District Kings County on March 20th, the Presidential Primary on April 24th and a potential City Council Special Election in May. 2. A number of important development and implementation programs will be delayed or possibly deferred into 2013, including NYSVoter Database Changes, MOVE II planning and analysis and the operational support, updates and modifications to our major election support systems including Candidate Processing, Poll Worker, Poll Site/Facilities, Election Equipment and Inventory Management, Election Day Incident Reporting, Election Setup and Election Results and Certification will be impacted. These technical and operational issues are significant and will drastically impact our election support programs. To implement the Court Order two additional servers and systems software are necessary at a cost of approximately $75,000. We estimate the need for a core group of six to ten technical staff members for approximately twelve hours per day for ninety days incurring the applicable overtime costs. Based on the foregoing description of the complex technical and resource issues that must be addressed in order to enable the Board of Elections in the City of New York to comply with the provisions of the Court’s January 27, 2012 order, the Commissioners of Elections in the City of New York respectfully request that the Court modify the following provisions of the New York State Election Law, which if so ordered would better enable the Board to conduct the June 26, 2012 Federal Primary: 1. Suspend the application of the provisions of Sections 4-100(3)(a) and 4-100(4) requiring the Board to establish new election districts if the number of registered voters in an election district exceeds 1,200 voters for the Federal Primary only; 2. Reduce the period for the circulation of designating petitions and the number of signatures required to qualify for the ballot for the Federal Primary by 50% from 37 days to 18 days (as was done in 1992) [Modifies Sections 6-134(4) and 6-158(1) of the Election Law]. The recommended petitioning period would run from April 9th through April 26, 2012. Our ability to comply with the Court Order is predicated on the timely adoption of the new Congressional District lines by the State of New York within the first week of March 2012 and the capacity of the New York City Department of City Planning to accelerate their work to meet this compressed schedule. Our technical analysis, and its conclusions set before you address solely the Court Order which establishes June 26, 2012 as the date for the Federal Primary. This is already based on a set of assumptions since we do not have specific geographic data or concrete dates when we will receive such information. Therefore, we cannot precisely determine the extent of the workload involved. If the June 26, 2012 Election is expanded to include Primaries for State and Local offices the technical and operational issues presented in this document would be significantly compounded and other unforeseen issues may develop. Therefore a re-analysis of the entire situation would have to be done. MIS Technical Group Meeting Report February 2, 2012 Background The Board of Elections in the City of New York is conducting elections on the following dates in the first half of 2012: NYS Senate Special Election on March 20th, Presidential on Primary April 24th, potential City Council Special Election in May and the Federal Primary on June 26th. As of this date, Assembly, Senate or Congressional District lines have not been enacted by the New York State. Problem The movement of the 2012 Primary for Federal Office to June 26 2012 and the process of this election under new Congressional District lines introduces a number of operational and technical problems for the BOE. The coupling of the directive with the redistricting changes to the new Congressional Districts and the requirement to complete the Presidential Primary under present district lines contributes to our difficulties. Although these events are approximately two months apart the preparation for Federal Primary and the completion of the Presidential Primary election overlap considerably. In addition to supporting two election events, it will require that we maintain two voter ED/AD assignments and sets of maps operational at the same time. Our present computer and operational systems and procedures do not have the capability to address this requirement. Assumptions To define a solution to this problem the following assumptions were made 1. Enactment and receipt of the new Congressional District Lines by the State of New York no later than March 7, 2012. 2. The State and Local Primaries will occur in September 3. Initial changes will be for the Congressional Lines only although AD/Senate Line Changes are anticipated 4. This may necessitate ED splits and additions however it must not change the ED/AD affiliations. 5. There will be a Special Council Election in May 6. ED/ADs with more than 1200 voters will not be split for June 7. Minimal calendar compression is anticipated Discussion with City Planning In our discussion with the Department City Planning (DCP) we were advised that their part of the redistricting process for Congressional lines will be faster if no splits are included for the June redistricting, and the iterative process of polygon changes between DCP and BOE which usually includes a Quality Assurance (QA) process on both ends, were minimized. This would possibly allow them to compress their processing to a week. The results would be put in a private region for controlled access. Technical Solution We discussed several scenarios which could provide a technical solution to the dual state (ED/AD) requirement: 1. Defining the ED/AD through a finer granularity a. Introducing tract/block into the voter record b. Introducing X and Y coordinates (ruled out by Tom Costa at City Planning) 2. Maintaining Duplicate AVID and S-Elect Systems 3. Supporting Concurrent Elections with Differing Maps a. Host two maps within S-elect and track both states in AVID b. Develop a User Interface that accommodates the map state change For a number of technical and practical reasons Solution 3 was selected and the following information is our initial evaluation of the scope of work regarding what in the systems will have to be addressed and the workload, resource and development plan impact. Discussion of Required Systems Modifications and Scope For this part of the discussion it is important to view all election system functions as either election specific or the current/ongoing. AVID functional points to be considered: Non-Event/Ongoing Request of support systems: 1. Normal current map adjustments – with help from City Planning 2. Street Finder – with help from City Planning 3. Poll List – Vanguard 4. IVR – phone bank 5. GOAT web service 6. Political Calendar 7. LAP Targeting Process 8. Map Production Non-Event Request of the AVID system: 1. New Voter/Change Voter – ongoing 2. Voter Inquiry - ongoing 3. Voter Extract (for public and other city agencies) - ongoing 4. Counter Copy – May 5. State record synchronization process – ongoing 6. Labels by subdivision 7. Geo Override 8. NCOA 9. Voter Record Print 10. Subdivision and Poll Site Inquiry to S-elect 11. Voter Correspondence (in supported languages) a. Notice of Approval (Acknowledgement) b. Poll Site Change c. Information Notice d. Transfer e. Cancellations Event Requests of the AVID system: 1. BATS 2. Specs (signature verification) 3. Labels by Event 4. History Capture 5. Poll Books and Emergency Poll Books 6. Voter Correspondence 7. Poll Site Accessibility Letter 8. SCYTL Information Feed 9. More Information Button (Ballot Presentation and Poll Site Locator for the next upcoming election) S-elect functional points to be considered: Non-Event/Ongoing for the S-elect system: 1. Poll Site Locator Feed 2. BDELs (ED moves from site to site) 3. Poll Worker Labels 4. Candidate/Current Member Labels 5. Political Subdivision Support 6. Calendar Event Requests of the s-elect system: 1. Election Setup for Petitioning 2. Candidate Filing 3. Lotting for Printer 4. NYPD Shell 5. NYPD Return 6. Direct Feed to ES&S EMS 7. Correspondence (dozens) 8. Event based Reporting (200+ stock reports) 9. Forms (dozens) 10. Ballots Online 11. Enrollment Check of Candidates 12. Fleet II/Inventory Management 13. Poll Worker 14. Call Center 15. Election Results Resource and Development Impact To execute these plans all the current development efforts will have to be tabled. Systems support will be reduced including the handling of operational support requests, new user report and other database analysis requests. Current development schedule highlights which will be affected (not including operational requests during a Presidential/Re-districting Year): 1. AVID - NYS Voter Database Change – Automated Process to Handle the Interim Statewide Database Processing (Duplicates, Death and Felon) 2. AVID – MOVE II 3. AVID - State Re-synching 4. AVID - DMV Interface 5. S-elect – Electiondayworker.com 6. S-elect – S-elect 7 Reporting 7. S-elect – Call Center Stress Testing 8. S-elect – Fleet and Inventory Management Upgrades 9. S-elect – RFID 10. S-elect – Financial Filer Tracking 11. S-elect – Poll Worker Supplemental Enhancements 12. S-elect – Facility conversion S-elect 7 The development resources required for this effort must be drawn from our own development team. We discussed other resource potentials such as DoITT and from these discussions there is no time for the transfer of knowledge required to address the necessary systems changes. What must be done is not adding a new module but intricate changes to the internal coding and integration elements of our total system. For the development and testing, two additional servers and systems software are necessary at a cost of approximately $75,000. We estimate needing a core group of six to ten MIS staff members for approximately twelve hours per day for ninety days incurring the applicable overtime costs.
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