The (Untold) True Story of the New York State Primary Disaster

https://time.com/5874571/new-york-state-general-election/

This lengthy article from Time leaves out the most important truths. If you are interested, I'm going to fill you in.

You may have heard that results from the mail-in ballots were still being tallied 5 weeks after the June 23 Election. True.

You may also have heard that NY State offered Early Voting. true

Here's what you probably have not heard: The continuing drama was intentional.

Early Voting got practically no publicity. I heard about it from a friend who is a former NYC Board of Elections Commissioner. Not a word about Early Voting got out on TV in the newspapers or on the web as the early voting polls opened. Only very late in the day was there any coverage at all.

As the City Council member, Zellnor Myrie, states in the article posted above, those who requested a mail-in ballot often got their ballots too late to be reliable. My experience mirrors Zellnor's. I voted early as I realized my ballot may not arrive on time.

But the most shocking of all the events was the ban on counting the ballots as they arrived. Governor Cuomo decreed that No Ballots would be counted until a week after the June 23 election.

Let me repeat this: Ballot counting began on Wednesday,July 1. And then the pace was excruciating. By design.

So Why all this delay? Why all this chaos? Here's my answer, though it may not be the only answer.

Governor Cuomo has been distressed and dismayed by the unseating of his collaborators in the 2018 Elections. Progressives and DSA members took over the New York State Senatein 2018.

In 2020, the Progressives from all the Not DNC democratic parties put forth many candidates, again threatening Cuomo's control, especially in the New York State Senate.

The mess that Cuomo fabricated for this election was designed to prevent, or at the very least, limit further Progessive gains in New York.

I am happy to tell you that this mighty effort failed. About 20 New York State Senate Seats turned over. Progressives also won U.S. Congressional seats from longtime DNC stalwarts. Ohhhhh it was good.

A simple fix for November 3 is to count all ballots as they are received and widely publicize early voting.

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earthling1's picture

about vote-by-mail here in Wa. State is doing the research on candidates and measures/amendments.
The voters pamphlet is first rate and comes weeks early.
The voting itself is a rather hum drum affair done during commercials on the couch.
Postage free- whats not to like?
Procrastination is the enemy.

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8 users have voted.

After six years, still getting robo-calls from Marriot Hotels.
They're like herpes.

@earthling1 @earthling1 How prompt was the counting procedure?

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NYCVG

@NYCVG The procedure is: 5days before election day:
"The county election boards begin opening the outerenvelopes, one precinct at a time.
• The secrecy envelope is separated from the outer envelope.
• Outer envelopes are retained by precinct and serve as the “poll book.”
• The secrecy envelope is opened. Election boards unfold and straighten the ballots.
• Each ballot is pre-inspected to check for irregularities and prepared for the tallying process.
Ballots are held for counting until election day.

On election day: Counting of ballots begins on election day. The first results are released after 8:00 p.m. Nearly all ballots will be tallied immediately following the close of elections."

Only in very close races do we not know the results by late at night on election day.

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@peachcreek exactly why NY has not implemented that program.

Cuomo fought against Early Voting and Mail-in voting.

The new Progressive State Senate and Assembly after the 2018 elections, passed a raft of Voting Reform Bills and Cuomo was forced to sign some of them.

Others have been gathering dust on Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie's desk for the past year.(Progressives dislodged almost 20 of the 105 Democratic state senators in 2020.) Things are gonna change.

But for now, the 6-7 week delay in NY's Election results can/should be seen as an extended temper tantrum by our very unhappy Governor.

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NYCVG

I'm in Albany county. There was plenty of notice here via post card from board of elections.
I voted in person while Ms. jbob voted via absentee ballot. All went well as far as the voting part. The counting part? Was it Joe Stalin who made the famous quip about who counts the votes?

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@jbob It may have been Stalin.

In NY, If and When they count the votes works well also.

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NYCVG

this NY Mag piece, NY law allows absentee ballots to be accepted if received by 7 days after the election, and the counting of same began only then, for no apparent good reason. They should have been processed and counted as received, or at least starting on Election Day.

Other major problems: no additional funds were allocated to the Bd Elections to hire people to administer the vote processing and counting for a delayed election that encouraged mail-in voting. The antiquated NY election system wasn't designed to handle more than the normal 5% or so mail-ins, not the 50-60% they received.

A very high pct of mail-in ballots were invalidated. In the 20-30% range in some NYC areas. A ballot could be invalidated just bc the voter sealed the envelope with tape. Or bc the Postal Service worker failed to postmark it, as an assumption was made that these business class postage-paid ballot envelopes would be handled as usual and not need postmarking.

What a disaster. And so far Andrew has failed to step up and take responsibility.

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@wokkamile He Planned this disaster.

Whose idea do you think it was to hold the ballots uncounted until 8 days after the election?

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NYCVG

snoopydawg's picture

to make it worse for people to vote here in the Great US of A? From republicans gerrymandering as much as possible to both parties making it as difficult for people to vote and having to wait in line for hours to kicking people off the voting rolls to keeping people who have felony records from voting to every other issue they put in front of us to rig elections.

Democrats rigged the last 2 primaries against Bernie. Think that this one wasn’t rigged? Here’s Clinton thanking Clyeburn for doing just that.

Mayo Pete was beating Biden big time, but he just decided to drop out? Please....

If people are okay with continuing to support democrats after they pulled this crap on more than half of their party then I’m at a loss for what to tell them. If it was this blatantly obvious that they rigged it for Biden then how can anyone know that they didn’t rig it against Warren, Harris or any of the others that ran? Do people really want to reward a corrupt system? Not me.

But as Jimmy is fond of saying, you don’t tell them that you’re going to vote for their candidate before you get something in return first. People keep saying that we’ve got to kick Trump out of office and then we can push Biden left and hold his feet to the fire. This sure worked well with Obama didn’t it? Besides Biden has already said what he’s against and that nothing is going to change. Trump/Biden then what’s the difference?

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“When police break the Law then there is no Law - just a fight for survival.” - Billy Jack

wendy davis's picture

@snoopydawg

walls street banksters:


“My administration is the only thing between you and the pitchforks.”

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usefewersyllables's picture

You've seen my comments on Colorado's VbM over on Reddit. In CO, the ballot has to be received by the county Clerk and Recorder's office by 7PM on election day, whether it is a regular VbM ballot or an absentee ballot. The counties do the count after 7pm on election night, and report to their results to the SoS. That would appear to be where the one-month delay in reporting the results occurred in the case of our state.

From the C.R.S. Title 1, Sec 7.5.107.4.B(II): ... "The ballot shall be received at the office of the county clerk and recorder or designated election official or a designated drop-off location, which shall remain open until 7 p.m. on election day. All envelopes containing mail ballots must be in the hands of the county clerk and recorder or designated election official no later than 7 p.m. on the day of the election. Mail ballot envelopes received after 7 p.m. on the day of the election but postmarked on or before the day of the election will remain sealed and uncounted, but the elector's registration record shall not be canceled for failure to vote in a general election."...

They don't make it easy to find, but it seems to me that the wording is pretty damned clear: the ballots are freaking well due in the Clerk and Recorder's hands by 7pm on election day, or they are not counted. The whole idea of the counties "still counting" for over a month after the election as was claimed by the dems, prior to the release of the results, was a complete fabrication by the dem party. IMNSHO this represents a *gross violation of the public trust* by the SoS, who just happens to be a democrat.

I do still believe in our VbM system here, and I think that everything right up to the point of releasing the results worked properly. However, having said that: all any party has to do is compromise the Clerk and Recorder office of the 3 or 4 big counties in the state, and they can ratfuck any election to their heart's content. There's no way to fix that. I just don't think they got that mechanism in place in time for the Super Tuesday primaries, which is why the results came out the way they did with Sanders winning by over 12% (albeit a month too late to make any difference). And that despite Obama's night-before call to Butt and Klob to officially notify the SoS that they had shitcanned their campaigns so that votes cast for them would not count, and therefore artificially inflate Biden's percentage (one of the lamest political moves I think I've ever witnessed).

VbM *can* work. I'm glad that I'll be able to receive a mailed ballot and deliver it to a county lockbox for counting in November. If I had to go stand in line to do it (or trust the post office to deliver it back to the county for counting), I certainly wouldn't bother this cycle. I just don't know if VbM can be made to work in a machine state where every office is thoroughly corrupted and controlled by the machine, like NYS.

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Twice bitten, permanently shy.

@usefewersyllables use fewer syllables

The NY Governor doesn't want Early Voting or Mail-in voting.

He wants the fewest votes to be cast as possible and for his team to exert tight control.

I'd urge as many voters as possible to get out and do early voting. When I showed up for the NY Primary on a Saturday for early voting I was the only voter in the entire gymnasium the voting was in.

If the pandemic is under control, mask up and show up on Nov. 3.

If early voting is your choice, then mail your ballot back asap.

Beyond these actions we can control, there isn't much many of us can do.

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NYCVG

usefewersyllables's picture

@NYCVG
The only silver lining (as I see it) is that perhaps a few other states might at least *try* VbM, to protect the voting public. If they do, I hope that their system has half-decent legislative and legal underpinnings (as it has here), as opposed to being a machine-governor's partisan-executive-ordered ratfuckery.

NYS really is completely out of control, corruption-wise, and has been since the dawn of the country. I suppose that the NYS experience simply shows us where the rest of the country is going, and what color our shared handbasket is to be painted. Unfortunately, the Greens have essentially no chance to make 5% nationally, given their penchant for nominating unknowns with no political appeal. We'll be repeating this whole farce in 4 years with even worse players, should we survive that long.

I'm looking forward to this cycle simply being over with, as the outcome no longer really matters. My ballot will be marked up and returned within 24 hours of arrival (they send them out 22 days ahead of the elections here). I've decided that I will be sending as much of a message as any single non-trillionaire voter can, with my protest vote for the Green presidential candidate Whatshisname. I'm hoping that someone (anyone!) Green shows up to run for Senator, because I sure as hell will not vote for Frackenlooper... The dems can kiss my vote goodbye, as well as my ass, in perpetuity.

Stay as sane as you can, even though it is a big ask, and thanks for your efforts in NY and your writings here and elsewhere!

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Twice bitten, permanently shy.

@usefewersyllables And it still took them how long to count the votes. They wanted to take the wind out of Bernie's sails and they accomplished that.

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In life, as in dance, grace glides on blistered feet. ~Alice Abrams

I have worked many a primary back in the day in a democratic party machine dominated city. The only people who could mess with the election processes and results were the people inside running it. That is, the only people cheating American voters were other Americans.

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@MrWebster

Our Problem is here.

No other country is needed.

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NYCVG