Published in
The Empire

Bloomberg and Sharpton's voting rules

(Azi Paybarah / wnyc)

From my story:

Michael Bloomberg and allies unveiled a slate of changes to state election laws that they say will make it easier to vote and help boost New York out of 47th place in the nation for the percentage of voter turnout.

Notably, in attendance was the Rev. Al Shaprton, who said the state was in the "dark ages" when it came to rules allowing citizens to vote. Shaprton's support here is important, since his absence from another Bloomberg initiative—the creation of non-partisan elections—helped kill it.


About an hour after Bloomberg's press conference, there was some more bashing of election officials. A City Council hearing on how the New York City Board of Elections handled the November 2 elections had NYCBOE officials on the defensive. City Council Speaker at one point called it "ridiculous" that NYCBOE did not keep the unofficial results from Election Day, in order to compare it to the official results that get certified weeks later.

NYCBOE Counsel Steve Richman tried, with mixed success, to explain that the unofficial results are generated, in part, by the Associated Press and the New York City Police Department, whose officers transfer the ballots once the polls close. Richman also tried painting New York as being far superior to other places where confusing ballots have actually thrown entire elections in chaos.

Richman said, confidenctly, "We will never end up with a Florida situation."