What is the Bronx Board of Elections Hiding? Part 3 - Where Did the Affidavit Ballots Go?
By Robert Press
Friday started the 87th Assembly District, and on Monday the long awaited last 79th A.D. Absentee ballot opening begins. It appears at the start of the opening of the Absentee ballots there was a ruckus by one of the 15th Congressional candidates who had well under one percent of the votes, and no chance of winning. The Bronx Board of Elections has opened the election law book (leaving a copy at the sign in table) to a little used section which says that candidates can not be seated at the tables where the ballots are being opened up, and must be seated behind the so-called media barrier.
With all the talk of all the Absentee Ballots I didn't hear the other type of ballot that has to be counted after all the Absentee ballots are counted. That ballot being the Affidavit ballots that people whose name was not in the electronic poll book, or who voted at one of the early voting sites that was not their designated early voting site used. I know this number has to also be much larger than normal since the sign in process was different this year, people went to the wrong poll site, and I found that Election Districts that did not get their official ballots until mid-day if they got them at all, where the coordinators were told to use Affidavit ballots instead.
There was a slate of candidates in the 79th A.D. and a slate in the 87th A.D. who were knocked off the ballot by the Board of Elections on a technicality. Those candidates went to court and were placed back on the ballot. The Board of Elections then appealed the judges decision to put the candidates back on the ballot. According to Valarie Vazquez-Diaz of the Board of Elections, because the ballots had to be made up before the appeal was heard the names of the candidates in question were placed on the ballots in case the BOE was not successful in their appeal. I asked Ms. Vazquez-Diaz after saying that I can not recall the BOE appealing a judge's decision, since that is up to a candidate to do. She said the BOE has done it before, but could not quote to me when. I then asked her to check with the law department and let me know when the last time was that the BOE appealed a judge's decision that placed candidates back on the ballot. That was a week ago, so either Ms. Vazquez-Diaz forgot, or there was no BOE appeal of a judge's decision to put candidates back on the ballot.
As for the 79th Assembly District Absentee ballots, and official Primary Day ballots they contained the names of people who were not suppose to be there. The same was true for the Male District Leader in the 87th A.D. These three district leader positions are now in question, because there were names on the ballot who should not have been, and because of that the election was altered in such a way that a candidate other than the winner may have won, had the ballot been correct.
The area where Affidavit ballots are kept. Notice the red sign which says Affidavit ballot area, and the views into the area.
One Bronx Board of Elections employee stands in front of me so I can not take any photos of the room where the Absentee ballots are being scanned.
When he stepped away, I got this photo of the ballot scanning machine in the corner, and ballots sitting on the table.