NEW ROCHELLE, NY — The school election in New Rochelle has turned into a failure of epic proportions. Just days before the June 9 mail-in election for school board and the budget referendum the New Rochelle Board of Education has failed to deliver mail-in ballots to over 44,000 voters. Ballots not received at City Hall by 5 pm Tuesday will not be counted regardless of postmark.
UPDATE: some voters are reporting that their ballots have arrived today, June 4.
Many school districts in New York State have reported problems with NTS Data Services, a company that provides election services throughout the state. NTS has blamed delays on a shortage of envelopes.
A bulk mail expert told Talk of the Sound that a school district in Westchester using NTS would have problems in any event because they use Buffalo postal permits. First-class mail would go from NTS to the Buffalo Post Office, then to the sectional center facility (SCF) in White Plains. An SCF is a processing and distribution center of the United States Postal Service that serves a designated geographical area defined by one or more three-digit ZIP Code prefixes. Mail would then be be sent to New Rochelle, then put out for delivery to the residences of voters. The entire process can take 5-7 days.
UPDATE: The District used Fort Orange Press in Albany.
The District has said the ballots were at the post office on Monday but failed to provide specifics: which post office and what time of day? If the ballots were delivered early in the morning they would be considered received on Monday, if later then Tuesday. If to the New Rochelle then delivery could be next day, if Buffalo then a week or so.
The District has ready access to this information.
Obviously the District did not check the 3600/3602 forms.
Superintendent Dr. Laura Feijóo has repeatedly compounded the problem.
On Friday May 29th, she issued a statement that the ballots had been sent on Thursday May 28th.
On the early morning of June 1st, she says she became aware the ballots had not been sent but sat on that information until close of business on June 1st.
On the evening of June 3rd, she issued a statement that ballots had been received by voters when no voters had received ballots.
Talk of the Sound has confirmed that when and if the ballots do arrive they can be delivered to City Hall on the voters behalf as long as the envelope is sealed.