The speaker of the New York City Council called for the executive director of the city’s Board of Elections to resign on Election Day, as voters experienced long lines and broken scanners at voting precincts.
Council Speaker Corey Johnson blasted the chaos at polling stations in New York City on Tuesday, as lines to vote stretched across blocks and avenues, and poll workers at some locations reportedly encouraged voters to “come back later.”
In an interview with New York 1, NYC Board of Elections Executive Director Michael Ryan acknowledged the issues but blamed the persistent rain.
“The weather, and people are having wet clothing and perhaps ballots getting wet is contributing to that,” Ryan told NY1. “The dryer, the crisper the ballot is, the less issues you’re going to have with the machine.”
Ryan said the Board of Elections was “working on it.”
“We did encourage people before Election Day to stay patient,” Ryan said. “We really need everyone to stay as calm as they can and to participate in the process, and we’ll do our job on our end.”
But Johnson slammed Ryan’s response on Twitter, calling for his resignation.
“Every election is like Groundhog Day: long lines, polling site issues, huge problems. Now we’re blaming the weather? It’s unacceptable & unfair to voters. Michael Ryan should resign & we should begin a top to bottom review of how this happened. It’s time for new leadership at BOE,” Johnson tweeted Tuesday.
He added: “Voting should not be this difficult,” and said he was “proud” of his “neighbors around the five boroughs who are voting today in what looks like huge numbers.”
Polls in New York close at 9:00 p.m. ET.