By STATE SEN. BILL PERKINS
It is clear that record numbers of citizens have registered in time to vote in the November 4 elections. The campaigns, democratic clubs, community groups, churches, city and state agencies and other concerned organizations and individuals registered thousands of new voters this year. This is good news. It is obviously better for our communities, our cities and our nation when our citizens engage themselves in the processes that determine who leads.We should all be proud of this success. However, with the rose comes the thorns. These record numbers of new voter registration forms present a great challenge to the NYC Board of Elections to process them in time for the upcoming election. Under present circumstances, it is clear that the New York City Board of Elections is overwhelmed and something needs to be done in order to avoid disaster at the polls on November 4.
It would be a great tragedy if after all the effort to bring new voters into the process and all the enthusiasm that has been generated, we are not able to service voters. I am strongly urging the city to provide the resources necessary for the Board of Elections to acquire additional data entry professionals in order to make sure every registrant is entered into the system in time to vote. When Election Day comes, we need to be prepared. With this year's anticipated high voter turnout, I am simply concerned that we are unable to conduct a successful election.
If we proceed with the 2008 general election without doing everything we can to make sure the Board of Elections can process these new registrants then we are knowingly and deliberately opening the doors for voters to be disenfranchised on November 4. This administration can help the BOE avoid this looming fiasco by giving them the critical resources needed ahead of time to prevent it.
This promises to be a historic election. We should make sure that this year's election process is one that our city and our country can be proud of and not allow this opportunity for failure.
The time to prepare is now.