Sen. Espaillat Calls for "Major Overhaul of the Board of Elections"

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In the wake of a controversial congressional election, Manhattan State Sen. Adriano Espaillat said at a New York Council hearing yesterday that the city needed a "major overhaul of the Board of Elections" and the ending of "the participation of the political bosses, the hand-picking of the board". Currently, board commissioners and staff are chosen through a patronage process equally divided between city Democrats and Republicans. That system has helped foil efforts to appoint a new executive director to the body for nearly two years. Espaillat, who lost a close election to Manhattan Rep. Charles Rangel, amid controversy, explained his plans to introduce legislation to reform the Board of Elections in Albany and have the New York City mayor and the speaker of the City Council jointly responsible for appointing the commissioners. "I express concern specifically about the coming presidential election in November, where the city board really has to do more to make sure the polls are operating efficiently," he added.

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