Elections Need Reform

On Monday, former City Comptroller Bill Thompson decided to end his call for a Mayoral run-off and back Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, who took a commanding lead during last week’s Primary election. Thompson decided against dragging out the campaign another three weeks under a cloud of uncertainty, created by a Board of Elections unsure of when the final Primary votes would be counted.

While conceding the race to de Blasio, Thompson also called out the BOE on its inability to finalize the vote count in a timely manner, with thousands of absentee and affidavit ballots yet to be counted. Thompson was right to criticize the board, which consistently has proven to be incapable of handling the voting process from year to year.

It is far past the time for the City to reform the BOE, to ensure that future elections are completed quickly and accurately, without dragging out the process. The board also needs to be able to adapt to the new technologies that will no doubt determine future elections without resorting to the use of 50-year-old machines, many of which were not ready for use when the polls opened last Tuesday.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg tried and failed to get much-needed reforms within the Board of Elections during his tenure. We hope that whoever is sworn in as Mayor in January makes these reforms a priority for the good of the City.