*Reposted from Gotham Gazette. Written by Ethan Geringer-Sameth*

Update: The Council Democratic conference unanimously confirmed Jodi Morales as the Bronx Democratic commissioner for the New York City Board of Elections at the December 6 meeting. At the meeting, the Council's chief compliance officer, Charles Davis, said the Bronx Democratic Party voted to nominate Morales but failed to file the paperwork with the City Clerk, leaving it up to Council Democrats to appoint her. Council Member Ben Kallos, a Manhattan Democrat, said he interviewed Morales before Monday's appointment vote where he said she committed to a number of measures sought by election reformers, including addressing nepotism at the Board, registering more voters, and increasing the number of early voting and Election Day poll sites. "In our interview, Morales said she would take on nepotism by forming a committee for ethical hiring processes," Kallos said at the meeting. "Morales said that when it comes to patronage, qualifications and competence matters." He also said she expressed support for provisions currently in the hands of state and city lawmakers, including online voter registration, no-excuse absentee voting, same-day registration, and non-citizen voting in municipal elections.


The New York City Council’s Democratic majority will likely confirm Bronx defense attorney Jodi Morales to the New York City Board of Elections in a meeting Monday morning at 10 a.m.

Morales will be the seventh commissioner appointed to the board since the June primaries, when the city’s Board of Elections made national headlines for publishing inaccurate preliminary election results -- the latest in a series of gaffes that have partially overshadowed most elections in recent years. The appointments, all made in the waning days of the City Council term ending this month, are for the remainder of a four-year term that ends in December 2024.

The Board of Elections is a ten-member, five-borough, bipartisan body that is picked, according to state law, by Democratic and Republican Party leaders (in most cases) to run city elections. Reform advocates say the selection process makes the board unaccountable to the public, enabling political patronage and administrative incompetence.

Morales is the sixth commissioner and first Democrat this year to be selected directly by the Council, which normally confirms party committee choices. This appointment route is used when county party leaders fail to nominate a candidate to the Council for Board of Elections approval. Of the seven who have been appointed or reappointed in the last three months, three are incumbents and four are new. Most if not all of the new selections are party insiders and none are known experts in election administration.

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