Board of Election protest

Peter Haskell/WCBS 880

Local Officials Call For Board Of Elections Reform

April 22, 2019 - 3:20 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Elected officials in New York City are once again calling for a complete reform of the Board of Elections after the board proposed a plan to buy new voting machines.

As WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported, in 2016 there were concerns about the integrity of the vote and in 2018, there were an inordinate number of voter machine break downs.

The BOE has proposed purchasing a new fleet of uncertified voting machines to solve the issues, but local officials say that will only add to the problems.

“It’s hackable, the ballot is changeable,” said Susan Lerner with Common Cause.

‘There needs to be a full-fledged investigation into Michael Ryan, whose conduct has undercut the integrity of our elections,” said City Councilman Ritchie Torres.

Ryan heads the BOE and Torres claims he is a pawn for the voting machine company.

“He had a financial relationship with (Election Systems & Software) which paid for his dinners, his travels, his hotels,” Torres said.

He said he’d also like to see machines with a paper trail.

Public Advocate Jumaane Williams joined the call, saying the issues need to be fixed before the 2020 Presidential Election.

“Where we are in this country, this is not a time to be messing up when people vote,” he said.

A board of election spokesperson says the machines are sought on a trial basis for early voting.