Archives of the Mayor's Press Office

Date: Wednesday, August 8, 2001
Release #278-01

Contact: Sunny Mindel / Peter C. Fenty (212) 788-2958


Adopts Recommendation of the Mayoral Taskforce
that is Evaluating the Needs of the NYC Board of Elections

27,000 Inspectors and 1,340 Coordinators Eligible for Pay Increases

Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani was joined today by Manfred Ohrenstein and Councilman Martin J. Golden in announcing that Poll Workers with the New York City Board of Elections (BOE) will receive an increase in per diem wages in time for the upcoming election cycle, starting with the primary races set for this September. BOE Inspectors will see their per diem rate increase to $200 from $130; BOE Coordinators will see their per diem rate increase to $300 from $200.

"In May of this year I asked Fred Ohrenstein and Councilman Marty Golden to serve on this taskforce to evaluate the funding needs of the New York City Board of Elections," said Mayor Giuliani. "They have approached this important undertaking with a strong resolve to present meaningful recommendations well in advance of the upcoming election cycle. I am pleased to endorse and implement the proposal to increase wages for Inspectors and Coordinators. This measure will not only help us to encourage the most experienced of our election workers to remain throughout the upcoming series of elections, but will make these critical jobs more attractive to others."

Today's announcement affects the 27,000 BOE Inspectors and 1,340 BOE Coordinators that the Board of Election plans to hire for the upcoming 2001 election cycle. The cost of the overall increase for both job titles amounts to $2,024,000 more for one election event; $4,048,000 more for two election events; and $6,072,000 more for three election events.

On May 16, 2001, the Mayor appointed Manfred Ohrenstein, former Minority Leader of the State Senate; Edward Costikyan, former New York County Democratic Chairman; and Councilman Martin Golden to the special three-member taskforce. The members were asked to evaluate various issues confronting the New York City Board of Elections, including its funding needs.

The taskforce is also charged with working with the City Council, the Board of Elections, the Mayor's Office, the Office of Management and Budget, and other appropriate parties in developing its findings and recommendations. The taskforce is continuing its study of the Board of Elections operations, and expects to present additional recommendations to the Mayor in the coming weeks.

With the approach of the primaries; looming term limits for many incumbents, including the Mayor, the Public Advocate and the Comptroller; and the volume of candidates who have declared for citywide and Council races, the 2001 elections will prove to be a critical period in the City's electoral process. Implementation of the taskforce's recommendations is expected to result in a more orderly, reliable and dependable election year, which should encourage greater voter participation.