What an election to get so terribly wrong.
In a year when a dramatic change in districts sliced and diced the Bronx but created room for serious Democratic challengers to go up against one of the longest serving lawmakers in the country, it was — for the sake of democracy — an important one to get right.
But if you voted last Tuesday for a candidate to represent Congressional District 13, you already beat the odds.
The battle between incumbent Rep. Charles Rangel and four other candidates began after 2010 Census data were released and new Congressional lines were drawn to merge a big chunk of the Northwest Bronx with parts of Mr. Rangel’s old district.
The primary was oddly timed to take place in June, when people were more likely thinking about beaches than ballot boxes, and there was no high-profile presidential or other race to draw in the masses.
Even if you managed to wrap your head around the new shape of the district and the crowded race of contenders, you could still have easily missed getting to the polls.
Confusion about the new districts was rampant and ironically exacerbated by the news media.
Newspapers from The New York Times, to the New York Daily News, to the New York Post all misled readers in the Bronx to believe that they were not included in the district when Bronxites not only live in the district, but could even end up deciding the race!
And the borough’s political powers that be, including most members of the Benjamin Franklin Reform Democratic Club, who backed state Sen. Adriano Espaillat in the campaign, did little to inform voters or get them to the polls.
Still, 40,810 people, including a yet-to-be-determined number of Bronxites came out to cast their ballots, some probably for the first time.
Among them were Dominican-Americans energized by the prospect of helping elect the first-ever Dominican-American to Congress.
But what could have been a hopeful entrée into participating in America’s democracy turned out for some to be reminiscent of corrupt elections in third-world countries.