GOP task force to look at ballot problems

The Queens County Republican Party has formed a task force to examine the 2010 elections with a focus on how the ballot results can be communicated faster and more accurately.
“When The New York Times cites in a story ‘80,000 uncounted ballots found in Queens,’ we must make serious inquiries into what is happening,” said Queens Republican Chair Phil Ragusa, who hosted a meeting with Republican Board of Elections (BOE) appointees on Saturday, December 11. “It calls into question the reliability and integrity of the entire electoral process.”
This year was the first year that the city switched to new ballots and scanners, and voters complained about problems during the primary and Election Day.
Bob Hornak, Executive Director of the Queens County Republican Club, said that the original under-reporting of the ballots was a concern, and the BOE needed to reevaluate how the ballots were counted after the polls were closed. One item that came up was that the BOE should make better use of the memory sticks in the machines, which would be able to provide a quicker and more accurate count, according to Hornak.
“The whole process has so many spots where a person could make mistakes or leave something out and dramatically affect the results,” Hornak said.
In addition, the task force will be examining whether enough safeguards are in place within the new system to prevent voter fraud. Hornak said that one report from a poll watcher on Election Day said that because voters had to go to three different locations – sign in table, station to fill out their ballot and then the machine to scan their ballot – it is more difficult to keep track of the voter as they go about the process.
The task force will be meeting in the upcoming weeks, and it is expected to issue a report with recommendations to the BOE by the end of January.