How Democracy Lost In NYC

After a very close race in NYC there was a recount.  As this NYTimes editorial points out most people would think the people’s choice lost because of overly strict laws and incompetent poll workers: One Lesson From the Katz-Cabán Recount  <read>

Tiffany Cabán, a public defender, declared victory on election night, June 25, with a margin of some 1,100 votes. But several days later, after election officials reviewed the roughly 6,300 paper ballots cast, Borough President Melinda Katz was ahead by 20 votes.

On Friday, Ms. Katz’s margin was reduced to 16, after the Cabán campaign successfully lobbied to restore six paper ballots — five cast for Ms. Cabán and one for Ms. Katz — that election officials had thrown out.

Of some 2,816 affidavit ballots, election officials determined just 487 to be valid. In many cases, the ballots they threw out were cast by people who weren’t registered Queens Democrats, and therefore weren’t eligible to vote. But, according to city election officials, some 114 ballots were invalidated because the voters didn’t write the word “Democrat” on their ballot — a technicality that shouldn’t disenfranchise eligible voters, or change the outcome of any election.

A paper ballot can also be disqualified if it was cast at a polling station other than where the voter is registered. That’s not only a pointless technicality but also unfair, since poll workers should know where the voter should vote, and since polling sites are often changed

On these points we agree.

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