Voter coalition wants Oneida County to set higher standards for BOE commissioners

A voter advocacy coalition is urging Oneida County leaders to set higher standards when appointing election commissioners.

Posted: Feb 23, 2021 3:44 PM
Updated: Feb 23, 2021 3:48 PM

A voter advocacy coalition is urging Oneida County leaders to set higher standards when appointing election commissioners, after violations of election law and other errors were uncovered during court proceedings in the 22nd Congressional District race.

Let NY Vote consists of more than 100 organizations, including Indivisible Mohawk Valley, working to improve elections and promote voter equity and accessibility.

Both Oneida County Board of Elections commissioners stepped down from their roles last week after Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente and the State Board of Elections called for their resignation.

Let NY Vote wrote a letter to Picente and the Oneida County Board of Legislators Monday, asking to implement minimum qualifications for the new commissioners, including education requirements, as well as knowledge or experience with election law and administration.

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Read the full letter below:

Dear Oneida Elected Leaders,

Let NY Vote is a statewide coalition of over 100 groups fighting to improve our elections by making registering and voting more accessible and equitable for every eligible New Yorker.  Our coalition includes organizations with activists and members in Oneida County, including the undersigned Indivisible Mohawk Valley.

The egregious election administration failures and deficiencies revealed by the lawsuit involving the congressional election in NY CD-22, particularly those in Oneida County,  are unacceptable. We were relieved to learn that the two Oneida County Election Commissioners have resigned.

You must now confirm new Election Commissioners nominated by the Democratic and Republican Oneida County party chair holders. Oneida County voters deserve an efficient and trustworthy election administration that is voter-centered.  We urge you to not only fully fund the county board of elections, but during this process also hold a high bar of standards for the most capable individuals who would bring to the job these qualifications, at a minimum:

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience in business administration, public administration or related field 
  • Knowledge and experience with election administration (New York experience desirable, but not required) or demonstrated ability to quickly get up to speed on detailed legal requirements 
  • Supervisory experience 
  • Project management experience preferred 
  • Familiarity with data management systems and best practices
  • Dedication to voter-centered elections and excellent customer service
  • Ability to work with the public and local/state government officials 
  • Ability to work independently 
  • Ability to prioritize tasks in a dynamic environment 
  • Ability to adhere to schedules and timelines. Excellent time management skills required 
  • Ability to maintain a fiduciary relationship to Oneida County's voters.
  • Valid driver’s license 
  • Registered Oneida county voter or eligible to become one if moving to accept this position.

We hope that you share our dedication to repairing the damage done to citizens’ faith in the Oneida Board of Elections’ ability to efficiently run fair, accessible and secure elections where every vote is counted.

We are happy to discuss our recommended qualifications with you and to assist in any appropriate manner.

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The Oneida County party committees must choose nominees for each commissioner position, and send them to the Board of Legislators for approval.

The county Republican Committee is accepting applications for consideration until Thursday, Feb. 25.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

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