Our friends at Citizen Union released a new report today revealing that 26 New York State counties posted sample ballots online before the Nov. 2 election. Unfortunately, the City of New York lags behind nearly half of the other counties in the state in this respect, as well as many jurisdictions around the country.
Posting sample ballots online would have allowed for New Yorkers to familiarize themselves with the new paper ballots before going to cast their ballot on Election Day. Surely this would have made for more confident voters, shorter lines at the polls, and made it more likely that voters would have remembered to turn over the ballot to vote on the two charter revision questions. Overall, as Alex Camarda of Citizens Union puts it, “many of the problems encountered at the poll sites could have been avoided.” As far as we know, the sample ballot posted on ReformNY was the only sample available online for all New York City.
Given the large amount of resources that the City Board put into its advertising campaign leading up to the election, it’s simply a shame that such a common sense and cost effective approach to educate voters was left ignored.
We hope the New York City Board of Election and other local boards will follow suit with the 26 other counties before the next election.