Election Commission employee resigns after counting snafu

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Voting booths at Public School 160 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.

Voting booths at Public School 160 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. | David Dee Delgado/Getty Images





A staff member of the Council of Elections has resigned in the wake of Tuesday failed primary results.

Gladys Fernandez – a BOE staff analyst assigned to the electronic voting department in Queens – filed her papers after the city office failed to capture 135,000 test votes that were incorrectly included in the official primary results on Tuesday, according to two sources with knowledge of the exit and on-board data.

Salary data of the Empire Center indicates that Fernandez has been employed by the BOE since at least 2008, taking in a salary of more than $105,000 last year.

A BOE spokesperson declined to comment on Friday’s resignation, indicating the board is not discussing human resources matters.

Earlier this week, the board released figures for the city’s first primaries held by ranked vote. But after campaigners and reporters questioned the turnout figures, the BOE admitted a discrepancy and pulled the results down. A day later, officials posted new counts without the test votes included. The corrected results left the Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams with a thin lead about Kathryn Garcia, and Maya Wiley at a similar distance.

The fallout continued into the week as all three leading campaigns filed lawsuits to maintain their right to litigate the count. A quirk in the electoral law dictates that Friday is the last day to take legal action, although the certified primary results are not expected to be ready until the week of July 12.

Wiley was the last to go to court on Thursday, and she said earlier in the day at a news conference that voters should have confidence in the end result.

“The most important thing for me – as a civil rights attorney, as a New Yorker – and for the people of this city is that there is real clarity, that we can trust that every vote is counted and counted accurately,” she said. outside City Hall hours before the papers were filed with the Brooklyn Supreme Court.

A day earlier, Garcia told CNN that while the error did not appear to indicate fraud, she was concerned that the error could affect the outcome nonetheless.

“I’m afraid it undermines people’s trust,” she said.

Adams’ campaign was one of the first to question Tuesday’s results and has since released a handful of statements expressing his appreciation to BOE for acknowledging the mistake and reminding New Yorkers that 125,000 ballots are mailed – who will decide the race – must also be counted.

“There are still absentee ballots that we believe are in Eric’s favor — and we’re confident we’ll be the New Yorkers’ final choice when every vote is counted,” the campaign said on Wednesday.

Adams has not addressed the election nafu directly, has not held a press conference, and has not appeared on camera since Tuesday’s fiasco.

Campaign advisor Evan Thies said that aside from a trip to New Jersey to see his partner, he has been working in the city since his first day of work.

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