March 31, 2012 12:00 AM
Finding out the unofficial results after New York City’s polls close can require plenty of patience, thanks to a paper-and-scissors, multiple-person process the city Board of Elections says it must, by state law, follow for vote tabulating and reporting.
It’s a process that election watchers dealt with on March 20, when it took hours after the polls closed before it was clear a special election for a state Senate seat would be too close to call, and would have to be settled by counting absentee ballots.
And they’ll have to deal with it up to four times in the coming months: The Republican presidential primary set for April, the congressional primary scheduled for June, the state Legislature primary that’s planned for September, and the general election in November.
“You throw up your hands in despair, not only at the Board of Elections but at some of the byzantine election law that hasn’t been updated, that leaves us with 21st-century technology and 20th-century vote-counting regulations,” said Neal Rosenstein, elections specialist at the New York Public Interest Research Group "
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