NY Senate Elections Committee ready to modernize state’s elections

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Published: Nov. 18, 2021 at 11:39 PM EST
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(WBNG) -- After months of investigating what led New York’s elections to become a national laughingstock, the state is finally ready to make some changes.

The NYS Senate Election’s Committee, led by its chair State Sen. Zellnor Myrie (D, Brooklyn), released a 40+ page report that lays out both what went wrong and a path for how to fix it.

The report was written based on a series of statewide hearings where voters and various local boards could testify and share their experiences.

Myrie told 12 News Thursday it’s important New York restores faith in its elections.

“When you go to a restaurant and you have a bad experience, you don’t go back and it’s the same thing I believe with our democracy. If you have engaged in voting and you have a bad experience, you’re probably not going to participate in the future, and it hurts the credibility of the institution in the process,” the lawmaker said.

The report recommends several changes, including decreasing the size of the NYC Board of Elections, changing the structure of the boards so political parties have less control at a local level, and more mechanisms to hold the various boards accountable.

In the 2020 general and 2021 primary elections, several boards both Upstate and Downstate broke several election laws and ultimately revealed an election system sorely in need of modernization.

Myrie said there have been more than 70 election laws updated since 2018, and he said resources will be supplied where needed to help the rural and suburban boards adjust.