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Board of Elections Cites 'Errors' With New Legislative Lines

Democratic commissioner concerned problems will not be fixed in time.

The Nassau County Board of Elections has found numerous errors with the new legislative district lines, one of its commissioners wrote in a letter to members of the Legislature.

“As you know, it is the responsibility of the Board of Elections to implement any redistricting plan,” William Biamonte, Democratic Commissioner of the BOE, wrote in a letter dated June 13. “The board must begin by precisely mapping the new legislative districts according to the legal description — the metes and bounds — contained in the redistricting legislation.”

“As you can imagine, the foregoing is a lengthy process even when no problems are encountered,” he goes on to write.

The errors include streets that were used to border the new districts that the BOE say don’t exist, streets that are in the wrong location of where the legislation says they are and streets that are said to intersect that don’t. It is unclear whether these errors will ultimately cause a delay in implementing the new district lines, which were approved by the legislature last month. Biamonte goes on to say that after the lines are finalized, the districts have to be entered in the voter registration system and voters have to be notified.

“You should be aware that it does not appear at this point that those steps can be completed within the timeframe set by state law,” Biamonte wrote, “and that continued attempts to do so can serve only to infringe upon the rights of the electorate. We are bringing the new map errors to your attention now so that you can take whatever action you deem appropriate.”

The lines are the current law of the county and are in effect, according to the office of the majority. Responding to an inquiry about the letter, Presiding Officer Peter Schmitt, R-Massapequa, said, “I’ve referred it to the county attorney for review and comment.”

Meanwhile, Minority Leader Diane Yatauro, D-Glen Cove, used the letter to further the Democrats’ argument that the redistricting process was rushed and should not be allowed. “Redistricting is a complex and time consuming project that requires public input, careful analysis to ensure minority voting rights are not violated, and the concentrated effort of election board staff to actually perform the required tasks to do redistricting properly,” she said in a statement. “Redistricting needs sufficient time to ensure that it is done correctly, legally and fairly.” 

Frank Scarangella June 15, 2011 at 02:48 AM
fire everyone in the vote stealing board of elections
Marc Rosen June 15, 2011 at 03:29 AM
Better yet, maybe we should LOOK at what they've produced, since what they're claiming is a series of rather serious errors. I mean, citing intersections that DON'T EXIST? If that's correct, then this redistricting needs to be redone from scratch, so that it actually matches up with common sense, and not just partisan pandering like Scarangella's one-liners.
GOPgrump June 15, 2011 at 12:52 PM
Fairly one-sided article considering that there's no mention of the Republican Commissioner of the BOE, Ed Ward, who sees no problem with the new lines. It also doesn't mention that the current Democrat-enacted lines seem to randomly cut through people's living rooms and driveways. Of course, there's nothing random about what turned out to be the most cynically politically advantageous map they could possibly create. The public had no idea, of course. Because after spending millions of dollars and public-foruming a proposed map to death, the then-Dem majority, secretly, at the 11th hour, tossed every scrap of public input and voted on the altogether different map they intended to use all along.
Frank Scarangella June 15, 2011 at 01:03 PM
what district should we put all the dead people that vote every year.............and what about the paper ballot.......what a joke.... 1 more 1 liner... marc get a real job... we don't need your bias facts to make up our mnds
Hollingsworth June 20, 2011 at 05:31 AM
GOPgroup is just making it up as you go. First of all, Ed Ward is not the Republican Commissioner. Second of all, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts. I don't care what party you belong to, if you look at the lines and see that there are intersections that don't exist - you cannot argue with that. Third, the current lines DO NOT have lines that run through people's living rooms and driveways. That simply is not true. Fourth, if the lines that both the Democrats and Republicans unanimously voted on 8 years ago was so politically drawn to create Democratic districts, then why are most of the Democrats on the legislature holding office in Republican majority districts - even though there are more registered Democrats than Republicans in Nassau County? If that were true, then why did the Democrats 8 years ago only move 50,000 people into new districts instead of 500,000. The difference between the Democrats 8 years ago and the Republicans today is that the Democrats had scruples; the Democrats had integrity; and they waited for 10 years and had the lines drawn by a bipartisan committee. The county attorney had nothing to do with the process 8 years ago. Funny isn't it? Mangano appointed an election attorney with a reputation for disenfranchising voters as their "county attorney" and yet contract all their "county defenses" out to Mangano's old law firm. Does anyone really believe it's a coincidence?

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