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Mayor Blasts Board of Elections' 'Incompetence' After Primary Snafus

By DNAinfo Staff on September 15, 2010 2:10pm

DNAinfo has rounded up the voting tallies from key races around the borough.
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By Jill Colvin

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

CITY HALL — Mayor Michael Bloomberg continued to blast the "incompetence" of the Board of Elections a day after New York City's primary was marred by problems at the polls, accusing them of reaching an all-time-low for election mismanagement.

From issues with the city's new ballot-scanning machines, to poll workers who failed to show up on time, many New Yorkers across the borough were forced to wait in long lines to vote, or left the machines with lingering fears that their votes had not be counted.

"Sometime you sit there and you say, 'Could it possibly get any worse?' And then you look at our Board of Elections, and, yes it can," an agitated Bloomberg told reporters Wednesday at City Hall.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg accused the City's Board of Elections of incompetence after some polls failed to open on time Tuesday.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg accused the City's Board of Elections of incompetence after some polls failed to open on time Tuesday.
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DNAinfo/Jill Colvin

"The bottom line is what happened is a disgrace and it never should have happened," he said. "Voters shouldn't have to put up with incompetence."

On Tuesday, the Mayor called the city's roll out of its new voting machines a "royal screw-up."

The mayor was especially disturbed by delays in poll openings across the city, which he said was "bound to disenfranchise people." One polling station where a staffer from the mayor's office tried to vote was still closed at 9:45 a.m. because its inspector and coordinator hadn't shown up, he said.

"What if the NFL was four hours late in starting the Super Bowl, arguably something that you can make a case is not quite as important as democracy and public elections?" he continued.

"What happened if Macy's advertised a big sale with a 6 a.m. opening but was unable to open some stores until 8 or 9 or 10 a.m? It would not happen," he said.

Bloomberg called on both the Democratic and the Republican members of the Board of Elections to work to address the issues before the November general election and said he plans to outline his own proposals soon.

Bloomberg also weighed in on the results, touting the fact that the six local candidates he had endorsed had won their races.

He also expressed strong support for Republican attorney general candidate and current Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan, and said he will do "everything I can to get him elected."

Donovan is up against state Sen. Eric Schneiderman, of Manhattan, who edged out Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice and three other opponents for the Democratic nomination.

"He's a no-nonsense guy that focuses on one thing: His job," Bloomberg said of Donovan. He added in what appeared to be a veiled dig at prior AGs, "I think it's critically important that the next attorney general focus on fighting crime and keep running the government and the other issues to the other elected officials."

Donovan also received the endorsement of former mayor Ed Koch, who praised the candidate's "dedication to reform and integrity" outside of City Hall Wednesday.

Schneiderman, meanwhile, planed to thank supporters outside of Fairway on the Upper West Side Wednesday afternoon.