De Blasio 7.17 BOE Letter

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De Blasio 7.17 BOE Letter Powered By Docstoc
					July 17, 2012

Maria R. Guastella, President
Frederic M. Umane, Secretary
Jose Miguel Araujo, Commissioner
Naomi Barrera, Commissioner
Julie Dent, Commissioner
Nancy Mottola-Schacher, Commissioner
J.C. Polanco, Commissioner
J.P. Sipp, Commissioner
Gregory C. Soumas, Commissioner
Judith D. Stupp, Commissioner
Board of Elections in the City of New York
32 Broadway, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10004-1609

Dear Commissioners:

In just four short months, New Yorkers will go to the polls to vote for President of the United
States. This election will be the first Presidential election in which New York City’s electronic
ballot scanners are used. If deployed as intended, these machines should dramatically reduce the
amount of time required to conduct an election night tally of votes.

Unfortunately, as it stands, New York City is poised for a national election night
embarrassment. While jurisdictions across the state of New York will be using memory sticks to
quickly tally their votes, here in New York City, our poll workers must carry out an illogical six-
step process: printing out paper records from each machine, cutting the paper into sections,
adding the numbers by district, writing these totals on a piece of paper, taking these numbers to
the central police station, and last but not least, typing them into a computer. In November, the
entire nation will be waiting for this process to unfold. If we preserve this time-intensive and
error-prone system, it is entirely plausible that the state of Hawaii could announce their election
results before New York City.

Now is the time to bring our system of vote counting in New York City into the 21st century.
We understand the Commissioners are considering procedural changes, and we are hopeful they
will represent an improvement. We, the undersigned, represent a diverse community of public
leaders, good government groups, lawyers and voting advocates. We urge the Commissioners to
act now before it is too late. New York City must design a procedure to make full use of the
electronic scanners, and join the rest of the state and country in establishing a quick, efficient
process for releasing the preliminary vote totals on Election Night.


Art Chang                                         Bill de Blasio
Chair, Voter Assistance Advisory Commission       Public Advocate for the City of New York

Susan Lerner                                      Kate Doran
Executive Director, Common Cause NY               Kate Doran
                                                  Chair, City Affairs Committee,
                                                  League of Women Voters
                                                  of the City of New York

Neal Rosenstein                                   Ruth Acker
Government Reform Coordinator, NYPIRG             President, Women’s City Club

Henry T. Berger, Esq.                             Thomas J. Garry, Esq.
Attorney at Law                                   Attorney at Law

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