To the editor:
(re: “The Bronx political revolution continues,” June 25)
I do not know how many absentee ballots were not received in the 16th Congressional District, and whether they would have made a difference in the final vote tally for the contest between Congressman Eliot Engel and Jamaal Bowman. What I do know is that the inability of the elections board to deliver the ballots to the people who requested them — both in our area and throughout New York City — is an egregious disregard of peoples’ rights.
Possibly more than 30,000 people in the New York City area were disenfranchised by their inability to vote since their absentee ballots did not arrive. True, some did brave possible contamination and go to the polling booths.
This should never have happened! And we must not let this happen for November.
Eric Dinowitz, who is running for city council in District 11, has proposed a plan to protect our right to vote. It includes starting the absentee ballot application process in July, use of an online tracking system for voters to see the status of their request for an absentee ballot, and dedicated days for senior citizens and immuno-compromised voters during an early voting period.
Legislation for a voter tracking system has been introduced to the state legislature by Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz and state Sen. Leroy Comrie. The senate (S.02768) and Assembly (A.10724) bills “requires the boards of elections to provide a secure website through which voters can track their absentee ballot from the moment the local board of elections receives the request for a ballot until the moment the vote is counted.”
I believe that it is important for these bills to be passed by the state legislature and become law in New York state.
We must not ever let the fiasco that happened this June take place again. Our constitution guarantees every eligible person the right to vote. In this time of the coronavirus, we must have our voices heard, and not have to choose between our health or our vote when our requested absentee ballot does not arrive.