11:35 am Aug. 13, 2012
Before a contentious City Council hearing last week, Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez told reporters that the city Board of Elections mangled the June 26 congressional primary contest so badly that his own staffer couldn't vote with a regular ballot when she went to the polling place that day.
Later, at the hearing, BOE officials tried refuting Rodriguez's claim, holding up a piece of paper they said was proof the staffer, Carmen de la Rosa, did in fact cast a regular ballot, and not an affidavit ballot as was alleged.
"Here's her signature," the deputy executive director said, holding up the document during the hearing.
"Ladies and gentlemen, she voted. Her name was in the book. She signed the book. This is what we're dealing with," said a somewhat exasperated BOE commissioner from the Bronx, J.C. Polanco. "We're dealing with false allegations."
Actually, what the BOE showed was a voter sign-in sheet for a woman with the same name and address as Rodriguez's staffer. It was the staffer's mother, whose date of birth is 1950, not 1986, like her daughter's.
After the hearing, I spoke with Polanco, who told me that the Rodriguez staffer in question was, in fact, not a registered voter at all. He said the BOE searched their records and there was no "buff card" on file, indicating that she had not registered to vote. That, he said, explains why she had trouble voting on June 26.
But according to de la Rosa, she did in fact register to vote, last year. To prove it, she forwarded me a notice she got from the Board of Elections indicating where her polling site was located.
The name of the form is called a "Notice of Approval."
After I forwarded de la Rosa's "Notice of Approval" to the BOE spokesperson for comment, Polanco told me it's possible she registered in time for the election, but not in time to appear in the book of registered voters used by poll workers.