The 2022 midterm elections have come and gone. The pundits, politicians, and apparently anyone who can express an opinion have weighed in on the election results. Most people agree that the predicted and anticipated Red Wave failed to occur. There are many reasons why the wave did not materialize.
Republican political strategists and elected officials do not need to look around too much to place blame for the disappointing performance. The numbers clearly indicated that former President Donald Trump’s persona, political history, and legal problems weighed upon the minds of voters. Voters rightfully associated the Republican party with Trump and refused to vote for anything related to the former president. Hundreds of exit polls confirmed this fact. Instead of announcing his third candidacy for president, Trump should have told the nation that he had decided not to run again. The world lacks perfection!
How the Republican party escapes the failed legacy of Trump is not the subject of this post. Maybe in a future post, I will offer my opinions and arguments as to what we Republicans must do to permanently rid themselves (ourselves) of Trump.
I saw the midterm election and prior New York State 2022 elections from the inside out. I offer some comments on election day (s) from this unique perspective. Why Am I qualified to speak from this perspective? I worked and supported the elections in many capacities. I gained invaluable insight into the state’s/city’s election process. Voters voluntarily express their views to me on the election process. They freely offered their own political views. Generally speaking, voters were pleasant and talkative.
In my opinion, the New York City Board of Elections conducted a series of professionally run elections. The Board’s webpage contained a wealth of information on when, where, and how one could vote. Additionally, every registered voter received a personalized voter information card. Contained in the card’s bar code, was the voter’s pertinent voter registration. This information allowed a person to seamlessly cast their vote at the right polling site. The Board made it extremely easy to vote. Many of the local news media outlets, ABC and NBC, to name a few, added to the voting information overload. There was no excuse for anyone not to vote if they really wanted to vote. Who disagrees with this?
During and after each election there was a barrage of criticism directed toward the poll workers. The criticism ranged from rude workers, incompetent workers, insensitive workers, and less faltering so-called failings of the people who work the polls. It is important to understand that the New York City Board of elections operates and runs the elections within the fabric of the City’s political realities. Having trained poll workers, supervised election sites and workers, and monitored elections sites for their compliance with the law and procedures, these criticisms are mostly without merit. By and large poll workers were diligent in their efforts to deliver a superior voting experience to all that entered the poll sites.
Post-Covid, NYC agencies have struggled to fill thousands of job vacancies. As a result, there City has instituted a policy that relaxes hiring standards. Candidates that would normally not be offered a person are hired. Additionally, too many people are hired into leadership roles or promoted to managerial positions from within but, sadly, are unable to perform satisfactorily in their new positions. U.S. cities universally have trouble hiring the best and brightest workers to fill municipal positions. The Board is not unique in having difficulty filling its ranks with the best people. Unfortunately, just one person’s failure to follow rules and procedures can break the back of a poll site. During the elections, I was tasked with making sure this does not happen. Luckily for everyone, these workers are few and between. Though I believe that people should be hired based on merit – the best winning out – NYC often hires using different criteria.
When meeting Mayor Eric Adams on November 8, 2022, at one of the sites under my supervision, I did not interrogate him on the City’s hiring practices.