Thursday, September 16th, 2010
New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg wasn’t happy with the way the city’s new electronic voting machines debuted (or didn’t) this Tuesday. We’ve been following the change-over to these new machines (and Mayor Bloomberg’s election reform plan) for some time. The mayor didn’t hold back his feelings when it came to mishaps on Election Day. Here’s a transcript via WNYC.
Today, unfortunately, we are hearing disturbing reports that some polling sites have been very disturbing.
We’ve been told of some polling sites that opened two to four hours late.
That is a royal screw-up – and it’s completely unacceptable.
It means some voters waited for hours – and other voters may not have a chance to cast their ballots at all.
We’ve also gotten reports of broken and missing scanners, emergency ballots, and poor customer service.
Other counties have also experienced problems, but I’m not sure any of them have been as severe as we’ve seen in our five boroughs.
Over the past five years, the City has provided the Board of Elections with more than $77 million to make the transition to the new machines – and that doesn’t include the $85 million in federal funds used to purchase the new machines.
But there is a total absence of accountability for how the Board performed on Election Day – because the Board is a remnant of the days when Tammany Hall ran New York.
New Yorkers deserve better than this – and the time has come to fix it. And let me repeat that for our Spanish speaking audience:
Los neoyorquinos merecen mejor – y ha llegado la hora de arreglarlo.
We owe that to all of you – and to every voter.
No democracy is perfect, but the more people participate in civic life, the stronger that the democracy is.
And that’s why voting is so important – and that’s why the commitment we’re making today is so important – and I just want to thank all of you here and wish you all the best of luck. I wish our Board of Elections had performed as well as all of you guys are going to do.
For WNYC’s complete blog post about Mayor Bloomberg’s reaction, click here.
Photo of NYC on Election Day via Hiroko Masuike for The New York Times.