Senior members of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office are seeking to block the New York City Board of Elections from resending ballots to roughly 100,000 Brooklyn voters who received absentee ballot return envelopes with the wrong address and names printed on them, according to a Wednesday report.
The New York Post reports:
The developments come just hours after BOE commissioners ordered the agency vendor that botched the initial absentee ballot mailings to resend them.
“The governor wants to take a different approach,” said Doug Kellner, the co-chairman of the state Board of Elections, who declined to elaborate further. “You’ve got to talk to the governor’s office.”
Another top state official confirmed that Cuomo’s office is pressuring the city BOE to abandon the plan.
“Late in the day, the governor’s top staff — including his top counsel — got on the phone with the Board and was pushing them not to remail ballots,” the person told The Post, adding that Cuomo’s staff was interested in a plan to just remail the envelopes, an idea the official labeled “twisted.”
The reported plan sparked ire from critics, namely State Sen. Zellnor Myrie, who wrote on Twitter: “We are hearing reports that @NYGovCuomo wants to prevent the @BOENYC from rectifying the issue by stopping them from sending corrected ballots.”
Myrie added: “This is straight up disenfranchisement and an affront to our democracy. The vendor screwed up and is trying to fix it. Let them!”
This is straight up disenfranchisement and an affront to our democracy. The vendor screwed up and is trying to fix it. Let them!
— Senator Zellnor Y. Myrie 米维 (@zellnor4ny) September 29, 2020
President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly raised concerns of possible voter fraud linked to voting by mail, weighed in on the Big Apple’s ballot issue.
“Wow! 100,000 Mail In Ballots in New York City a total MESS,” the president tweeted. “Mayor and Governor have no idea what to do. Big Fraud, Unfixable! Cancel Ballots and go out and VOTE, just like in past decades, when there were no problems!”
Wow! 100,000 Mail In Ballots in New York City a total MESS. Mayor and Governor have no idea what to do. Big Fraud, Unfixable! Cancel Ballots and go out and VOTE, just like in past decades, when there were no problems!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 30, 2020
The Post’s report comes after the New York City-based newspaper revealed multiple Queens voters received mail-in ballots marked for military use despite having not served in the armed forces.
“There’s just mass confusion about these ballots and what people are supposed to do with them,” Democrat Van Bramer said in an interview with the Post. “People were already not trusting this process and they were already not trusting the Board of Elections to count the ballot right.”
“This apparent typo just has everyone confused and believing these are invalid ballots,” he added. “It’s absolutely outrageous that when everyone is watching them, they still screw up the most basic thing, which is printing the ballot correctly.”