John Ravitz, executive director of the New York City Board of Elections has announced he is leaving his position at the City Board to take a position with the American Red Cross.
We've had occasional disagreements with the Board under Mr. Ravitz's leadership, but we believe he was a solid director -- one who worked hard to improve the Board and to make himself available to the public and advocates (something that is still too rare among New York's public officials). His loss will be a loss to all New York City voters.
His departure leaves the 10 commissioners of the Board of Elections in charge of selecting his successor. The new Executive Director will oversee the nation's largest elections board, during a critical time (for starters, next year will be a Presidential Election, and New York City is likely to need to select a new voting system). We hope that, in contrast to previous selections of Executive Directors, the Commissioners will make their choice through a transparent process, and that the search for a successor will be national in scope.