Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thou$ands wasted on election mailing

For your consideration, here's a story from this week's Bronx Press.

By Miawling Lam

Talk about flushing money down the drain.

Hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars were wasted after the Board of Elections sent out mailings reminding Bronxites to vote in the upcoming Primary Day elections.

The letter, sent to every registered voter in the borough, turned out to be useless because polls won’t actually be open on Sept. 13.

There are no contested primaries for any office in any political party in the Boogie Down this year. In fact, the only political contest in November will be for the Bronx district attorney position and incumbent politico Robert T. Johnson is just about assured a win.

Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz was so concerned about the mailings creating mass confusion; he fired off a press release as soon as he became aware of the issue.

“Four years ago, when we also didn’t have a primary, many people came out to vote,” he said.

“We are fortunate to live in a community where so many people always vote, and of course I always want to see people come out and vote, but only when there’s an election.

“So, please, vote in the General Election on Tuesday, November 8th, but not until then.”

By law, the Board of Elections is required to notify registered voters about the dates for Primary Day and Election Day. However, because only one generic notice is created for the entire city, Bronxites were left scratching their heads.

Jump below for the rest of the story.

The Riverdale Review understands the reminder notices started hitting Bronx postal boxes earlier last week.

Dinowitz estimates the printing costs would’ve run into six-figures.

“I don’t know how much it would cost but it would cost a lot of money. A hundred thousand or more, I assume,” he said.

“What I think they should’ve done is create a Bronx version. People should know the polls will be closed.”

Tom Connelly, spokesman for the New York State Board of Elections said it was virtually impossible to determine how many mailings were printed or what it would’ve cost.

“Some boards might use a printer and some might use an in-house server,” he said.
“Unfortunately, there’s no way to tell.”

Riverdale residents should also note that the polling site at the Atria at 3718 Henry Hudson Parkway has closed. Instead, voters are being directed to cast their ballots either at the Hebrew Institute of Riverale or Draddy Hall at Manhattan College.

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