2009-02-27 / Editorial/Opinion

Reform Needed At The Board Of Elections

The New York City Board of Elections is made up of ten political hacks. That is a fact of life and the real reason why both Frank Gulluscio and Glenn DiResto were knocked off the ballot for this week's special election to fill the vacancy that was created when Joseph Addabbo Jr. left to become a State Senator. The board is made up of ten people (two from each borough) who are selected by the two major political parties, the Democrats and Republicans. The ten are then approved by the City Council, who most often agree that each party can have its five representatives. That is considered a fair deal in our city. To say that the ten are selected by the political parties is to say that they are selected by the political boss of each borough after discussion with the local party leaders - two of whom are Geraldine Chapey and Lew Simon. You'll notice that neither the two Democratic District Leaders nor the Republican District Leader, Eric Ulrich, was thrown off the ballot. In addition, it is those party leaders that choose who will run for the numerous judgeships that become open each year. It is no surprise then, that Chapey, through her surrogates Harold Cornell and Noreen Ellis, was able to get quick action from both the Board of Elections and two judges to get two rivals thrown off the ballot. Chapey may consider that democracy in action, but we do not. There are several advocacy groups looking to change the process, to make it more fair and to ensure that viable candidates do not get thrown off the ballot for minor inconsistencies such as their party name being too close to another party or that the person collecting the petitions did not put Mr. or Mrs. in the proper space. We agree that it's time for a change. The public has the right to make a choice and party hacks such as Chapey should not be able to stop the public from electing

" the candidate of its choice.

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