CM – Ranked polling software company says NYC BOE ignored offer to help run citywide poll


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The head of the nonprofit, non-partisan group that developed the software the city electoral council uses to conduct the process to run the ranked election, said offers made at help a smooth counting process of the ranked elections were ignored. The BOE’s first in-person voting tabulation (including the early voting and primary day) resulted in sheer chaos on Tuesday night when it was released with incorrect numbers.

Gary Bartlett, executive director of the Ranking Choice Voting Resource Center, said told Gothamist / WNYC that the group offered their services to run a voting table process with their Universal Ranking-Choice Voting tabulator. The process would have been run concurrently with the BOE’s RCV counting process using the final voting data collected on the pre-election night. The idea, according to Bartlett, was to give the BOE extra eyes; this is the city’s first year of an RCV election.

“It has been offered. It was never acted, ”said Bartlett. « Sure, they should at least have called back [a call] and said, ‘Thank you, but no, thank you.’ But they didn’t even do that. « 

He added, » I think they tried to do it on their own because our tab is open source coding. It’s available to everyone. However, since it is the first time they have been eliminated in such a big election, they should have drawn on our expertise and included. « Us. »

On Tuesday, the BOE admitted that more than 135,000 test votes were mixed with the final vote, after learning that they had stayed in the election management system. According to state rules, the BOE will test its system prior to an election to ensure accuracy, but must clear it again before going online for actual tabulation The software used in NYC is also used in communities in Utah, Wyoming and Alaska Typically, when processing an RCV election, every ballot that is cast on a voting scanner is put on an internal flash drive in each scanner The scanner’s flash drives are then collected and processed through the election management system, which then feeds out the ballot papers for all votes collected during early voting and primary day. The final balance then goes through the RCV software, which uses a sophisticated algorithm to create the rankings.

The BOE did not explain what exactly led to the error, although Bartlett suspects it was human error

« We would have known straight away that there were more ballots than eligible voters, » said Bartlett.

The tab was dated in May after a year and a half of talks with the city’s BOE about its use State Electoral Committee approved.

The BOE also said in its statement that the software was not the problem, and spokeswoman Valerie Vazquez-Diaz told the NY Times, “There was a human error where an employee did not give out the test ballots removed from the election management system. ”

Something is wrong with the BOE RCV results today. Certain candidates for the office of mayor in Round 1 have increased their votes by more than six times compared to election night in Round 1. There is something wrong! @JCColtin

Bartlett added that if the BOE had carried out the parallel tabulation process between Primary Night and June 29 – the day a BOE recognized discrepancy led to the mayoral election was in chaos – they would have been able to spot the bug before the results were published. This mistake was exposed first by candidate for mayor Aaron Foldenauer and then by Eric Adams, the Brooklyn borough president who is the leading contender in the running for mayor’s office.

Although Adams remained at the top, the mistake seemed his lead two percentage points ahead of Kathryn Garcia, the former city sanitation commissioner who jumped to second place ahead of Maya Wiley. The city of BOE said a more accurate count is expected on Wednesday. This does not mean that a winner will be announced as more than 124,000 postal ballot papers were not included in the count. A count of these ballots is expected in mid-July.

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