De Blasio’s ‘chief democracy officer’ skipped a ton of votes
Just remember, her job is to get people to vote.
Ayirini Fonseca-Sabune, the city’s new $165,000-a-year “Chief Democracy Officer,” skipped more elections than previously reported, records show.
Board of Elections records show she first registered to vote in New York City on Dec. 8, 2005 and — until she was purged from the rolls on July 11,2009 — voted just once in 3/12 years in the Democratic presidential primary on Feb. 5, 2008.
She failed to cast ballots in the 2006 Democratic primary, which pitted former Gov. Eliot Spitzer against now-Congressman Thomas Suozzi, or the 2006 general election, when then-Sen. Hillary Clinton cruised to victory against Republican John Spencer.
The Westchester Board of Elections says Fonseca-Sabune, 36, was also registered to vote there from 2000 to 2008 and cast ballots in both the 2000 and 2008 presidential elections.
Despite the overlapping voter registrations, there is no evidence that she cast a ballot twice in the same election, which would be illegal.
It was reported on Wednesday that Fonsenca-Sabune, whose job description includes boosting New York City’s woeful voter turnout numbers, didn’t go to the polls in four primaries between 2014 and 2017 since re-registering to vote from a new address.
Mayor de Blasio has defended his new appointee, who was named the new post this week, arguing that it’s more important to vote in a general election than a primary.
But in heavily Democratic New York City, the winner of that party’s primary generally goes on to win the general election.
State Sen. Marty Golden (R-Brooklyn), like other critics, questioned the need for a “Chief Democracy Officer” in the first place.
“For almost 30 years there has been a Director of Voter Assistance,” he noted.
“Onida Coward Mayers, who has held the position since 2004, now is attached to the New York City Campaign Finance Board. Before that time, Mayers worked for the New York City Voter Assistance Commission, of which DeBlasio was a member while Public Advocate.
“What is the Chief Democracy Officer going to do that the Director of Voter Assistance is not already doing? This is a redundant position that is wasteful and unnecessary, the hallmarks of de Blasio’s progressive mayoralty.”
The mayor’s office attributed Fonseca-Sabune’s poor voting record to her hectic life at the time.
“Like most young people establishing themselves in New York City, she was moving from place to place, juggling work and life’s everyday challenges in a state where it isn’t easy to vote,” said City Hall spokesman Raul Contreras.
“She’s here to fix that and to make it easier for people to participate in our democracy.”
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