Monitors Will Observe Elections for Issues or Irregularities

CITY HALL – At the direction of Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, the New York City Council will deploy approximately 20 staff members to several poll sites throughout New York City for Tuesday’s Primary Elections to conduct field oversight activities. The decision to have staff conduct such field oversight comes after numerous issues arose during the Presidential Primary Election in April, including reports of voters unknowingly being removed from voter rolls, poll sites opening late, and malfunctioning voting machines. Improving voting and civic participation was a focal point of Speaker Mark-Viverito’s 2016 State of the City.

Council staff will observe whether voters are facing any issues at the poll sites, including, for example, whether voters’ names properly appear in poll books, whether poll sites have enough supplies including privacy sleeves/folders and provisional ballots, and whether voters are facing lengthy wait times. Council staff will also observe operations at the Board of Election’s executive office as well as borough offices.

“Voting is our most important civic duty and we must ensure the process works for all New Yorkers.,” said Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “Our staff will conduct field oversight in areas that experienced significant issues during the April Presidential Primary Election, including in Brooklyn, Upper Manhattan, and the Bronx.”

“Voting should be easy and in a voter’s language without delays, poll sites that keep moving, or a lack of translators. The City Council will have eyes and ears out in the field for the contentious Congressional Primary to oversee how the elections are conducted,” said Council Member Ben Kallos, Chair of the Committee on Governmental Operations with oversight of elections. “Thank you to Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and our City Council staff who will be out in the field protecting our vote this election.”