Bronx Special Election report

What is going on at the Board of Elections 2021, Part One. 

By Robert Press

Attention Voters

For someone in the media to go into a poll site the standard NYPD issued Press Card is not good enough. A reporter must also have a letter from the Commissioners of Elections in the City of New York authorizing the reporter to undertake the listed activities printed on the letter within a polling site. A second letter going into details of said activities is also sent to the reporter with the dates on both pages for the election to be used. Both letters are signed by Michael J. Ryan the executive Director of the Board of Elections New York City. These two letters must be presented to the two poll coordinators upon entering a poll site, and the reporter (and all other allowed visitors) must sign each coordinator’s log book.

Going into the Bronx Science poll site in the 11th council district on Saturday March 13, 2021 the first day of early voting for the special election, I went to the poll coordinators table with my two BOE authorizing media letters. I showed them to one of the coordinators who pulled out his cell phone and wanted to photograph the papers. I said no because in all the years I have been doing this there is no requirement that the letters be photographed by any coordinator. A person who identified himself as Harold Payne, a BOE worker, said the letters I had were not real. He said I would have to call Brendaliz (meaning Brendaliz Candelaria) the Democratic head of the Bronx Board of Elections. I replied that she does not issue the letters which come from the NYCBOE not the borough office. 

The letters have a phone number to report any problems, and I called the number to report this problem. I was told Ms. Valerie Vazquez-Diaz the Communications Director  for the BOE would call me back in a few minutes. When Ms. Vazquez-Diaz called me back she said she had no record of my request for BOE Press Credentials, and even added that when she checked with the police department they had no record of my Press card. I said to Ms. Vazquez-Diaz “We have been doing this for years now, and that I was one of the very few people in the media who renewed their Press Cards in February. I received a call back a few minutes later. She must have checked her email where she saw the letters that were sent to me the day before where her name was in the CC area, and she said there is no problem anymore. I visited other poll sites without any problems.

As is required, this voter approved my photo of them placing their ballot into the ballot scanning machine at the Bronx Science High School poll site. The photo is taken socially distanced  away, and not to show who the voter marked their ballot for.

This story will be continued, and with my predictions who will win the two Bronx special elections and why. 

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