‘Every vote should be counted,” said Adina Barrios Brooks, a successful school board candidate in June is Assistant Provost for Faculty Advancement at Columbia University. Her husband’s ballot was voided by Election Inspectors. “I look forward to working with district staff to improve the voting process for absentee voters in the future.”
“As a candidate, I am disappointed to learn that our universal mail-in election would result in so many mistakes in one of the most basic functions in our democracy,” said School Board candidate Mario Scarano, a former Athletic Director at New Rochelle High School. “As an immigrant who arrived in American at 7 years old then became a U.S. citizen at 18, I know the most important thing a citizen can do is vote and in an election every vote should count.”
“It is infuriating that this did not happen here,” Scarano added.
“I am concerned about the uncertainty of who is counting and controlling outcomes of elections,” said Steve DiDonato, a school board candidate and electrician at NBC News. “There is no transparency in the process.”
“Election Inspectors should not be the final decision-makers in determining whose ballot is accepted,” DiDonato added.
“Voters whose ballots were not counted should be told and given a reason why their ballots were not counted,” said DiDonato who called for an effort to educate voters on how to vote by mail.
“Campaigning for any elected position takes time, passion and sacrifice,” said Tim McKnight, the Director of Residential Services for the New Rochelle Municipal Housing Authority and a recent school board candidate. “I am deeply concerned to learn that a failed voting process disqualified many voices in the New Rochelle community, among them my supporters.”
“It is a sad state of affairs for these sorts of issues to still be occurring in 2020,” said McKnight. “Whether it is one vote or thousands of votes not counted, it’s the responsibility of those in power to insure that this basic right is honored to its fullest extent. Failing that, election officials are not fulfilling the democratic ideals of our country.”
McKnight said he was especially concerned that despite significant delays in printing and mailing absentee ballots before the voting deadline, drop-in ballot boxes were not only not made more widely available but as the deadline approached were actually removed from minority neighborhoods throughout the City.”
“For many voters, voting rights still to this day have been politically discredited,” said McKnight. “The unfortunate problems in the June school election elevates voter concerns”
“I was there while the votes were be counted and while I had very little confidence in what I witnessed I can say while I am appalled to learn of the many irregularities I cannot say I am surprised,” said businesses man and board candidate Michael Leone.
“There was an air of ignorance and apathy as votes were counted,” Leone said. “The District was not prepared…the process was unprofessional and disorganized.”
“I would like to see system fixed going forward,” he added.
JUNE 2020 New Rochelle School Election Series