Mayor Bill de Blasio held a press conference to draw attention to the Board of Elections’ preparations for early voting. de Blasio is highly critical of the initial steps taken by the Board of Elections as it moves to implement early voting under recently enacted changes in state law and he is mounting a public campaign to push the Board to expand its early voting arrangements.
The Board of Elections made final determinations on the public advocate special election ballot, setting a ballot of 17 candidates.
The Board eliminated five candidates who sought to be on the ballot, Ify Ike, Theo Chino, Mike Zumbluskas, Danniel Maio and Walter Iwachiw. All but Ike were eliminated for filing insufficient signatures on their petitions while Ike was eliminated for failing to timely file a certificate of acceptance. The Board placed candidate Helal Sheikh on the ballot despite Board staff having previously ruled he was ineligible due to a failure to identify on his petitions the election he was seeking to run in.
In a marked paradox the Board refused to remove candidate Latrice Walker from the ballot despite her attorney’s express request. Walker submitted sufficient petition signatures and other required documents but subsequently decided to drop out of the race. The Board ruled that it did not have authority to remove Walker and she is on the final ballot.
We spoke with election law expert, and New York State Assembly Member, Brian Kavanagh concerning the New York City Board of Elections and possible steps to improve the Board’s performance. An attorney, Kavanagh has been active in the Assembly as chair of the Election Day Operations and Voter Disenfranchisement Subcommittee and a member of the Election Law Committee and as an advocate for improving the voting process. I began by asking Kavanagh what voters should fairly expect from the Board of Elections.