• According to The New York Times, New York’s Board of Elections created a gigantic loophole when it decided limited liability companies were no different from people when it came to campaign donations. Corporations are limited to political donations of $5,000 a year, but LLCs can donate $60,800 a year to any statewide candidate, just like individuals.
This has led to major donators creating a series of LLCs to donate theoretically unlimited amounts of money to a campaign. The Board of Elections could simply reverse that decision, but in April 2015, the Board split 2/2 on the issue (2 Republicans voting to keep the loophole v. 2 Democrats voting to end it.) With no way to resolve an even split, the loophole remains.
• The New York State Board of Elections has issues only five formal opinions since 1990.
• After extensive study, the Citizens Union has proposed a nonpartisan statewide election board comprised of nine members, with four appointed by the Governor, four by the legislative leaders, and one chosen by the eight to serve as Chair. This board would recommend five candidates to the Governor, who alone would appoint a new Chief Elections Officer (CEO) from among the five candidates.
The CEO would be accountable to the Governor and serve a fixed term of five years, but would report to the board regarding all operations, including canvassing and procedures for county officials. – Adapted from Citizens Union, 2009.
• “I think we need to professionalize the Board of Elections. Let’s face it: For decades and decades it’s been a strange combination of government sanctioned but party-run,” Mr. de Blasio said. “And it’s time for a more professional approach.” http://observer.com/2016/04/everyone-is-angry-at-the-new-york-city-board-of-elections/
• New York’s constitutional provision was adopted during the 1890’s, a period of frequent statutory redesign of election administration procedures, as partisan control of state government changed hands, advantaging one party or the other.