May 15, 2008
Dear Fellow Democratic Committee Member,
Almost three years ago, when you elected me Commissioner of Elections, I had no idea what a challenging and interesting job it was going to turn out to be. In this short time, I can say, without exaggeration, that there have been more changes in how we run elections here in than in the past fifty years. The Help America Vote Act and ’s election law put the entire responsibility for all aspects of elections in the hands of the Board of Elections (the “BOE”). And this was not the biggest change or challenge that we have successfully implemented.
The most important task that I’ve worked on since you elected me Commissioner has been the implementation (selection, purchase, and deployment) of new voting machines. I am proud to say that, through many hours of studying the pros of optical scan/paper ballot machines versus the cons of the electronic touch screen machines and my unwavering advocacy within the BOE, residents will be voting on paper ballots starting in 2009. This is the result that you, as Democratic committee members, asked me to achieve, and I am happy to say that I delivered it.
The new machines are an enormous logistical and educational undertaking, and we are currently developing the programs and materials to make sure that both our elections workers and the voting public are fully educated in the use of these new machines. Nothing could be worse for the county or the Democratic Party than not succeeding in this effort. I am asking you to vote for me at the June convention for another term as Commissioner so that I can see this endeavor through.
My time as Commissioner has also demonstrated to me that we Democrats face a skilled and dedicated adversary in the Republican Commissioner, who will take any advantage he can, within the election law. My two and half years as Commissioner, my almost ten years as Chair of the County Democratic party, and my 15 years as Chair of the Town of Olive Democrats have given me a good grasp of the ins and outs of ’s quite complex election law so that I can more than hold my own and protect the interests of our Party, as far as the law allows.
It would be remiss of me to talk about my work here at the BOE without giving credit and praise to my hard-working staff. I’ve been very lucky to have been able to recruit an extremely well qualified staff in terms of experience and education. This has enabled us to offer to you, as committee members, and to the Democratic public, what I believe is a high degree of professional service.
I would hope that I can count on you for your support. As always, my door is open to each and every one of you. Please don’t hesitate to contact me about this or any matter at any time.