NEW YORK, NY — July 15, 2019 — “As the ballot recount in the Queens District Attorney race gets underway, each side is trying to stake their claim and win an election. The primary focus for my office and me is to advocate that every legitimate and eligible vote counts, and my office’s attorneys are actively monitoring the process as it moves forward. Over the past weeks of accusations levied back and forth, the process has thus far appeared open and transparent. However, there is one area in which I believe everyone should be united in concern: a subset of affidavit ballots.
“Affidavit voters are voters, and the fact that 114 registered Democrats who voted by affidavit — at their correct poll site, during their party-affiliated primary — could be silenced because of minor errors on complicated forms which could just as well be ascribed to a poll worker seems to be a miscarriage of the process. I agree that this is, as The New York Times rightly declared, a ‘technicality that shouldn’t disenfranchise eligible voters…’
“All sides should agree that every eligible voter deserves to have their vote counted, and that incidental errors at poll sites should not be an excuse to deny that vote. The fact that the law is imperfectly applied at poll sites further solidifies support for these voters to not be disenfranchised.
“This process must be impartial, and confidence in the system must be paramount for everyone involved. I strongly urge Albany to act so this situation is not repeated in the future, and for the BoE to exercise all possible considerations so that no matter who emerges victorious, Queens voters are confident that the winner was chosen in the most fair and democratic process. The next time that we as elected officials tell voters whose names are not on the voter files to feel secure in their affidavit vote, we should mean it.”
SOURCE: W. Gerlich | Office of New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams