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For Immediate Release
Contact: Jake Oliver, [email protected], 347 361 9983

New York, N.Y. (May 17, 2022) – Citizens Union releases the following statement from Executive Director Betsy Gotbaum applauding the State Senate for passing a set of bills that will reform Boards of Elections throughout New York State:

“The bills passed today by the New York State Senate represent an important step in improving New York’s broken election administration system. This legislative package would provide voters across the state with better-trained election officials who meet appropriate qualifications and can be adequately reviewed by local authorities before they are appointed. In New York City, the approved changes would be a major reform of the NYC Board of Elections, making the agency more professional, independent, and efficient.” 

“We applaud Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Elections Committee Chair Senator Zellnor Myrie, and the bills’ sponsors for leading the fight to improve election administration. We call the Assembly to swiftly pass these bills, before another Board of Elections blunder occurs.”

“These reforms should be followed by further legislation that reduces the dependency of election officials on party bosses. The foremost priority should be to remove the state constitutional requirement that empowers the two major political parties to effectively control election boards.”

Please see the list of bills below:

Restructuring the New York City Board of Elections 

  • S6226E (Krueger) An act to amend the election law, in relation to the exercise of powers and duties of the board of elections of the city of New York and its executive management (Krueger)

Setting standards and qualifications for election officials 

  • S8292 (Mannion): An act to amend the election law, in relation to requiring a commissioner to meet certain qualifications before his or her appointment. 
  • S4542A (Mayer): An act to amend the election law, in relation to prohibiting conflicts of interest among board of elections employees. 
  • S7442 (Myrie): An act to amend the election law, in relation to prohibiting election commissioners and deputy elections commissioners from holding a publicly elected office. 

Improving accountability 

  • S8289 (Gaughran): An act to amend the election law, in relation to requiring a public hearing prior to the appointment of election commissioners. 
  • S8337 (May): An act to amend the election law, in relation to the removal of an election commissioner. 

Requiring training

  • S263 (Myrie): An act to amend the election law, in relation to mandatory training curriculum for election commissioners and key staff of boards of elections
  • S5800B (Comrie): An act to amend the election law, in relation to mandatory training curriculum for poll workers.

Increasing boards’ capacities

    • S8311 (Mayer): An act to amend the election law, in relation to making commissioners full time employees of the board. 
    • S6684A (Mannion): An act to amend the election law, in relation to establishing minimum staffing levels for local board of elections
  • S823A (Krueger): An act to amend the election law, in relation to the compensation of election inspectors and coordinators. 
  • S7382A (Myrie) An act to amend the election law, in relation to furnishing money or entertainment to induce attendance at polls

About Citizens Union 
For 125 years, Citizens Union has been a force for transparency, accountability and ethics in New York’s City and State governments. A nonpartisan organization, some of our current initiatives include a new agenda for police accountability, monitoring the City Council’s redistricting process and increasing civic engagement. Learn more at www.citizensunion.org.

 

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