Mayor de Blasio and Gov. Cuomo’s fury over the hours-long early-voting lines would be totally righteous — except that these problems were entirely foreseeable, yet neither man, nor any other local leader, lifted a finger to prevent them.
New York City’s Boards of Election (including one for each county) are political-patronage cesspools. They screw up regularly — and are always overwhelmed by anything new.
It’s been obvious for months that voting in a pandemic would pose big challenges, yet neither the mayor nor the gov offered new funding for the BOEs. Nor, it seems, did either review the plans for early voting, which have been on file for weeks, at the least.
This, though de Blasio is spending big on his new Democracy Office — or is that a political dumping ground, too?
Cuomo, meanwhile, hasn’t bothered to act on the deadlock that’s crippled the state Board of Elections, where Democrats and Republicans joined to neuter his chief enforcement counsel and the board is unable to choose a new executive director to run the show.
The result, as The Post reported exclusively this past week, was woefully unequal and inadequate distribution of ballot scanners across the city. Sites in places like Park Slope and the Upper East Side were overwhelmed, while locations such as the Barclays Center had excess capacity.
The whole city has just 88 early-voting centers, as opposed to 1,200 poll sites on Election Day. Again, those plans have been on file for weeks.
As for state Sen. Mike Gianaris’ bill to require twice as many early-voting sites: It will only apply to future elections, when demand won’t be inflated by the peculiar circumstances of a pandemic.
New York’s leaders are simply posturing about this mess: If they were serious, they’d fight for fundamental reform of the boards — which would mean taking on the machinery in both parties that benefits from the status quo.
This mess is squarely in their laps — as are those to come in years ahead. But all they offer is Kabuki-theater “outrage.”
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