Brooklyn Boro

Adams calls for voting reform, more sophisticated tech

November 7, 2018 By Sara Bosworth Brooklyn Daily Eagle
After polling sites all over Brooklyn reported serious problems during midterm voting, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams took to the doorway of the Brooklyn Board of Elections to call for voting reform. Photo by Erica Sherman/Brooklyn BP’s Office.

Standing in front of the Brooklyn Board of elections on Wednesday morning, Borough President Eric Adams spoke out against the issues with voting in New York that made Tuesday’s midterms chaotic for polling stations across New York.

Adams reported that at least 49 polling locations faced serious problems. Now, he is putting forward a 5-point plan to better the voting process in the city, after Tuesday’s long lines and jammed scanners made voting difficult for hundreds of Brooklynites.

The plan includes immediate investigation of problems at polling stations on city and state levels; better training for poll workers, especially when it comes to fixing jammed scanners; the implementation of early voting; testing new technology; and obtaining stakeholder commitment to structural reform.

On NY1 early Wednesday morning, Adams blasted the “old” machines used in city elections. “We can’t continue to live in an 8-track era in an iPhone age,” he said, calling for the exploration of more sophisticated technology.

“You can transfer millions of dollars on your phone in your bank account, but you can’t allow people to vote,” Adams said. “We need to really think differently.”

The executive director of the Board of Elections (BOE) blamed Tuesday’s rainy weather for the problems at the polls, saying that the damp ballots caused the scanners to jam. That excuse, however, didn’t do it for the borough president. “He’s blaming wet ballots?! Sorry, that excuse is all wet. #ElectionDay should be able to withstand the rain; we had MONTHS to prepare for this incredible voter turnout,” Adams said in a tweet.

Adams was not alone in his frustration. Councilmember Jumaane Williams (D-45) was among a number of Brooklyn officials that called on BOE to make improvements. “I’m thoroughly disgusted with the BOE here today,” he said in a live video on Twitter, turning the camera to show the police presence at the poll site, where the street had been shut down due to lines. “This makes no sense.”