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Politics

NY Election System Needs Overhaul, Bellone Says

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone Photo Credit: Twitter

One of Long Island’s top elected officials is calling on New York State to overhaul its election system.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone is pushing for new legislation that will professionalize New York’s election agencies, not just the New York City Board of Elections.

Bellone cited Suffolk polling sites that left some waiting in line for hours during early voting in his newfound call for change. The County Executive previously said that he waited on line for nearly two hours at a polling site in West Babylon on Election Day.

“If long lines in this election taught us anything, it's that we need to reform NY's Boards of Elections,” he posted online. “This is not just a NYC problem - it's every county in NYS.

“We need to professionalize BOEs and place them under a merit-based civil service system.”

Bellone said that election boards should be placed under the state’s merit-based civil service system, not installed by party leaders across the state.

Moving forward, Bellone vowed to talk to other county executives, elected officials across the state, and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo as he seeks to revamp the election system.

“It’s long overdue that we reform our election boards. They shouldn’t look like an old Tammany Hall patronage operation,” he said in the New York Post. “These are good-paying jobs. Any resident should have an opportunity to get a job. That doesn’t exist right now.”

New York Sen. Zellnor Myrie said that other elected officials are open to reforming the process.

“Everything should be put on the table next session, he stated. “With record turnout and unprecedented attention to our democratic processes, voters expect a world-class democracy and it’ll be important for us to have a robust discussion on what that looks like all across the state.”

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