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The Alice-in-Wonderland-like annals of election-law laxity have a new chapter, courtesy of the New York City Citizens Union. Today, the Citizens Union reports, the state Board of Elections “has closed an ‘investigation' ” into an Assembly member that “it never conducted.”
Sixteen months ago, the nonprofit good-government group filed a complaint to New York City’s election board regarding court charges of electioneering during the September 2012 primaries. It had been charged by one party in a state court case that Assemb. Carmen Arroyo (D-Bronx) and her staff “were telling voters how to vote at a poll site in the South Bronx, and that poll workers did not stop her because she was their boss and paid their salaries.”
Citizens Union is quick to add that it “did not take a position on whether the allegations were true but believed they warranted an investigation.”
What happened when they asked for one?
“The city board in response simply reiterated actions taken on Primary Day to stop electioneering at those poll sites and, in conflict with election law, determined it did not have investigatory authority. The board wrote “it is inappropriate... to take further action at this time.”
So last May, the Citizens Union asked the state Board of Elections to conduct an investigation.
Ten months later, an answer came. The state board decided the city board had “taken appropriate action to remedy the complaints.”
This, despite the city board declining to investigate the complaints and claiming it lacked the authority to do so.
The group is calling, once again, on Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and lawmakers to enact reforms.