NYC Board of Elections Name Middle Goes Darkish Forward of Absentee Poll Software Deadline – WNYC

The New York Metropolis Board of Elections was scrambling on Monday to elucidate why its voter hotline was down for greater than 12 hours beginning at the least mid-Sunday via mid-morning Monday.

The telephone quantity, 1-866-VOTE-NYC, goes to a name middle on the New York Metropolis Board of Elections’ principal workplace in decrease Manhattan. The Board additionally has a back-up name middle in its Staten Island borough workplace.

On common, the decision middle receives roughly 300 calls per weekday (9 a.m.-5 p.m.) throughout non-election durations; that quantity spikes to five,000 or extra per day throughout peak durations like a presidential election cycle, in response to a memo from Steven Ferguson, who manages the Board’s info know-how.

The Board of Elections wouldn’t touch upon when the system went down or what brought on the outage pending a full assessment from its distributors.

The telecommunications big Verizon supplies the telephone strains and a know-how firm referred to as DiRad provides and maintains the software program that kicks in when the system picks up. It’s supposed to offer callers with entry to recorded info in a number of languages 24 hours a day, seven days every week.

It additionally permits people to request supplies like voter registration types, and extra critically, absentee poll purposes. The deadline to submit an absentee poll software by mail is Tuesday, Nov. 1.

Callers started reporting issues with the telephone line beginning at 2 p.m. Sunday, together with a reporter from ProPublica, WNYC’s Electionland companion. That’s additionally when WNYC requested the Board of Elections what was flawed with the system. The issue endured all through the day and into Monday morning.

Callers have been experiencing two totally different points. If the individual referred to as from a telephone with a New York Metropolis space code, there was a persistent busy sign. If the individual referred to as from a quantity with a non-New York Metropolis space code, an error message would play that stated this service was not out there of their space.

A spokesman for Verizon stated the Board of Elections contacted the corporate 10 a.m. Monday about issues. Kevin King, director of company communications, stated the issue was a switching situation. “Calls weren’t being correctly forwarded to one of many name facilities,” he stated.

King stated the outage was fastened in about an hour by means of a software program replace.

These individuals calling from a non-New York Metropolis space code, take observe: the toll-free service is about up just for NYC space codes, in response to Verizon. Anybody outdoors the calling space should dial 212-VOTE-NYC.

That info is on the homepage of the Metropolis Board of Elections web site.

Sadly, it’s not on the web page with details about absentee voting.


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