Taxpayers in New York are spending a pretty penny on votes.
Board of Elections workers for the city are being driven to and from poll sites in high-class black cars, which cost residents a whopping $9 million in taxes.
The cars are part of a fleet of 400 vehicles being driven through all five of the city’s boroughs, according to report in the New York Post, and they are meant to accommodate election-day officials who otherwise would have to rely on another form of transportation.
In an agreement between the 10-member board and New York, officials arranged for three contracts totaling $9.2 million, which will ensure the driving service over the next six years.
Some in the city, like 39-year-old Stephanos Koullias, are not keen on the plan.
“It’s part and parcel with government waste and maybe even graft,” she told the Post. “We have trains, we have buses and we have a Citi Bike system. They don’t need to be here.’’
The average public-transit commute time in New York is 87 minutes, though, higher than in hotspot West Coast cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles. The city’s transit service has been called out for frequent delays, which is partly why election workers wanted cars.
In a call with FOX Business, Valerie Vazquez, director of communications for New York’s Board of Elections emphasized the significance of the vehicles, saying they are used to transport key staff like machine technicians, site coordinators and Americans with Disabilities compliance officers. Rapid response “is of the utmost importance,” she said.
And she expects the board to come in under budget for the car service.
Other voters side with Vazquez, including Nancy Jimenez, 54, who helps organize the drivers in Manhattan. “They want to make it easy for the workers to get there so that there are not problems and people can go vote,” she told the Post. Staffers “have important papers, legal papers, things they can’t have on public transportation.”
Polls in New York opened Tuesday, with local candidates eyeing to fill roles like district attorney and police commissioner. The presidential primaries begin next year.