The Chautauqua County Board of Elections issued a statement in response to a critical report by the New York Coalition for Open Government.
The Coalition for Open Government had criticized the Board of Election for failing to answer Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) requests. Before the FOIL was filed, the coalition contacted Board of Elections across the state asking four questions, including when do Commissioners hold meetings, is the public notified about the meetings, are agendas posted online, and are minutes kept and posted online.
Chautauqua County did not respond to the initial phone contact and failed to respond to two FOIL requests.
Chautauqua County Board of Election Commissioners Brian Abram and Luz Torres jointly stated the following:
“We respect the work of the New York Coalition for Open Government in advocating the right of citizens to access information from public institutions. Due to an oversight in Chautauqua County’s FOIL review process, the Coalition’s FOIL request to the BOE made via email last summer did not receive a response.
Until the Coalition’s Report was released earlier this week, the BOE was unaware of the oversight and will be sending the Coalition a response as soon as possible. The BOE frequently receives FOIL requests from the public, and we routinely reply to them in a timely manner. We regret the unintended oversight that occurred in this case.”