CITY MUST ACT NOW TO
Who won and who lost last week’s primaries
in New York City isn’t as important as how
the primary was conducted. To be blunt, it
Nobody expected things to go completely to plan in
an election marred by the COVID-19 pandemic, when
New Yorkers were advised to vote by absentee ballot.
The Board of Elections was inundated with ballot applications,
and it’s apparent they couldn’t keep up with
More than 700,000 absentee ballots were sent to
registered Democrats, at their request, but as of June
26, the board only got back 150,000 of them. That’s not
even a quarter of the ballots distributed.
Some New Yorkers got their absentee ballots the
day of the election — or after.
One of them was Queens state Senator Jessica Ramos,
who tweeted on June 26 that she got her absentee
ballot that very day, three days after the primary. Ramos
had voted in person on June 23 after not getting
the ballot before then.
This was the very thing the city and state sought
to avoid weeks before the June 23 primary, when New
York was in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic. The
objective was to let New Yorkers cast their vote with
The Board of Elections did everything possible to
make the polling sites safe — from masking workers
to doubled sanitation efforts and enforcing social distancing.
Yet none of these efforts could guarantee that
a poll worker or a voter would avoid infection.
On top of that was the usual gambit of election day
mishaps one would find in a normal New York City
contest — from broken ballot scanners to incorrect
ballots being sent to a voting district.
The Board of Elections must learn from the mistakes
of the June 23 primary and act fast to fix them —
because November is coming, with the all-important
presidential election topping the ballot.
Action must be taken now to expedite the distribution
of absentee ballot applications, followed by the
Larger polling stations should also be secured to
safely accommodate voters appearing in person, with
all appropriate safety measures taken.
Moreover, early voting hours should be expanded
dramatically, and voters should be encouraged to
make use of it like never before.
The voters of this city cannot afford a repeat of
June’s primary mess.
HOW TO REACH US
TIMESLEDGER |14 QNS.COM | JULY 3-JULY 9, 2020
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Some New Yorkers got their absentee ballots the day of the election, and some did not receive them until after.
Photo via Getty Images