The city’s Board of Elections is looking for a company to provide software for the new ranked-choice voting system amid calls from some officials to delay the ballot changeup beyond this year’s crucial mayoral election.
The board issued a request for proposals Nov. 16 to find a firm with the digital know-how to tabulate votes after New Yorkers rank candidates in order of preference on their ballots. Interested companies must respond by Monday.
The deadline comes less than two months before the new system is scheduled to be used in a special election for a Queens City Council seat — and follows widespread criticism of the board’s poor handling of mail-in ballots during the pandemic.
City poll sites use DS 200 ballot scanners operated by Election Systems & Software, which also handles ranked choice voting in Maine and Minneapolis. The Omaha, Neb.-based company is a potential candidate to do the same here, said Susan Lerner, executive director of Common Cause New York.
The nonprofit Ranked Choice Voting Resource Center is another strong option, according to Lerner, who is a leading supporter of the new voting system. The North Carolina-based outfit has open-source software that the Board of Elections could likely use at a low cost or even for free, Lerner said.
“There are good possibilities,” she added.