Borough President, Local Pols Call For Investigation, Reforms Following Voting Delays

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After an election day marred by long lines, malfunctioning ballot scanners and confused poll workers, Brooklyn politicians have set their sights on serious election reform.

This morning, Borough President Eric Adams took to the steps of the Brooklyn Board of Elections (BOE) building downtown to call for an immediate investigation after yesterday’s “complete disgrace.”

Along with the investigation into what caused yesterday’s long delays for voters, Adams also called for a series of reforms. That includes both early voting in New York, as well as having poll workers trained on voting-machine maintenance.

Adams said his office found nearly 50 polling sites in Brooklyn had issues, and he spent much of yesterday visiting sites, hopping between the Ingersoll Houses in Downtown to P.S. 264 in Bay Ridge.

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Many politicians joined him in calling for reform, and some definitely want to see heads roll. Yesterday, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson took to Twitter, calling for the Executive Director of the BOE, Michael Ryan, to resign immediately. Adams respectfully disagreed, hoping to find the root of the problem through hearings, though he added “firings may be needed…”

Bay Ridge Councilmember Justin Brannan, who campaigned hard for victorious Democratic challengers Max Rose and Andrew Gounardes, also expressed his concerns about yesterday’s voting failures:

While the details of potential hearings will have to be hammered out, one Brooklyn politician has already put forward a call for legislation to fix the issue at a state level.

In a statement released today, Assemblymember Joe Lentol (D-50) said that he would put forward election reform legislation in Albany that would enable early voting, digitize voter records, and mandate “easily readable ballots that are only one page.”

“We need to immediately reform and improve our election system so that voter participation remains at this level and grows even higher,” Lentol said in the statement.

The assemblymember’s announcement follows on the heels of the delay-riddled election, but is buoyed by the new Democratic majority that was elected to the State Senate, which he sees as the key to passing meaningful election reform.

“For too long the Assembly has been operating by itself on election reform, as the Senate failed to adopt important reform measures,” said Lentol, a member of the Assembly’s Election Law Committee. ” I am excited that now we can finally pass meaningful legislation to improve the system and expand access.”

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