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PR- 052-05
February 8, 2005


Task Force to Consider Means for Improving the Efficiency of the Board of Elections and Modernizing Voting Machines

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced the appointment of eight members of the Election Modernization Task Force. Corporation Counsel Michael A. Cardozo will head the new Task Force which will recommend ways to improve the Board of Election's operations, productivity and overall efficiency and to modernize the City's voting machines.

"I am pleased to appoint these eight dedicated and talented individuals to join Michael Cardozo on the Election Modernization Task Force," said Mayor Bloomberg. "The Task Force will work with the Board of Elections and recommend ways to improve its internal operations, increase its productivity and hold it publicly accountable for its performance. It will also encourage the State Legislature to pass long-overdue legislation allowing access to more than $200 million in Federal funds to go toward upgrading the City's outdated and inefficient election equipment. I am confident that the Task Force members will work hard to improve a system so important to our democratic process."

"The Task Force will explore both short-term and long-term objectives to bring the City's system of elections into the 21st century," said Corporation Counsel Cardozo. "We plan to work closely with the members of the Board of Elections and with John Ravitz, the Board's Executive Director, as well as the public in pursuit of this goal."

The Task Force will develop recommendations for urgent State legislation that will allow the City to access Federal funds pursuant to the "Help America Vote Act" to replace its outdated voting machines. The Task Force will also examine ways to improve the administration of the Board of Elections in areas such as its telecommunications, website, procurement practices, and hiring and training of election inspectors and other poll workers. Additionally, the Task Force will discuss whether changes are needed to State law to make the Board of Elections more efficient.

In addition to Corporation Counsel Cardozo, the Task Force members include:
  • Preeta D. Bansal, an appellate litigator at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom LLP and the former Solicitor General of the State of New York.
  • Dr. David A. Caputo, President of Pace University.
  • Allan H. Dobrin, the Senior Vice Chancellor and Chief Operating Officer of The City University of New York (CUNY).
  • Stephen J. Fiala, the Richmond County Clerk and the Commissioner of Jurors for Richmond County.
  • Jerry Garcia, Vice President and Client Executive at The Bank of New York.
  • Colvin W. Grannum, the President of the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation.
  • Gail Hilson, a community and political activist, a former candidate for the New York State Assembly in the 73rd District and a member of the Board of Directors, Citizens Union.
  • Peter Vallone, Sr., former Speaker of the City Council.

Also working with the Task Force as staff counsel is Tal Golomb, an Assistant Corporation Counsel in the Law Department's Legal Counsel Division.


Edward Skyler / Robert Lawson   (212) 788-2958

Kate O’Brien Ahlers   (Law Department)
(212) 788-0400

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