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Controversy is boiling over 120,000 ‘missing’ Democratic voters in Brooklyn


brooklyn primary election vote

At a rally to protest what went down on primary election day in NY. (hollow sidewalks/Flickr)

New York Board of Elections, WHAT'S GOOD?

On Tuesday, New York state held their presidential primary election, but there were big problems for about 120,000 Democratic voters in Brooklyn, some or many of whom had disappeared from the voter rolls and were unable to vote.

And now the New York Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman, is looking into these voting irregularities.

The head of the New York City Board of Elections says sorry, they were short-staffed, so they fell behind in maintaining their voter rolls.

Schneiderman said they will initiate inquiries in other parts of the state too, where irregularites were "unusually high":

“I am deeply troubled by the volume and consistency of voting irregularities... Voting is the cornerstone of our democracy, and if any New Yorker was illegally prevented from voting, I will do everything in my power to make their vote count and ensure that it never happens again.”

There's a lot of suspicious talk about voter suppression, but one major part of the problem was inactive voters: people who didn't vote in the past two federal elections and therefore got dropped from the list of registered, but weren't notified.

BTW, many Bernie Sanders supporters suspect fraud and foul play and worry that these problems cost him the election in New York, where he got beat by Hillary Clinton. But she beat him by a wide enough margin that it's pretty clear that's not the case.

Besides, the problems affected Democratic voters, and there would be no way for the Board of Elections to know ahead of time who those voters intended to vote for, but ... conspiracy theorists are still having a field day.

Scott Stringer, the New York City Comptroller, said he would audit the Board of Elections to see what's actually happening. He also started an online complaint line for voters to send in their problems.

On Primary Day, things were so bad for the voters, 226 New Yorkers went to court to get an order to be able to vote.

But there was additional confusion for two reasons:

1. Because New York is a closed primary state, meaning that only registered Democrats and Republicans are eligible to vote for presidential candidates in their own party. Independents and people registered with other parties, like Working Families, are not allowed to vote, but not everyone realized that. These voters could have changed their registration, but they had to do it like six months ago, and the Board of Elections didn't publicize that.

2. Because some voters insist their registration was mysteriously switched from D to R or just unregistered altogether--sometimes even with forged signatures on the forms.

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Controversy is boiling over 120,000 ‘missing’ Democratic voters in Brooklyn

Anugya Chitransh

Anugya is originally from New Delhi, India. She studied journalism at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism in New York, graduating with a master's in international reporting. She plans to travel one day to all the places she reads about. She likes reading fiction, pop music, and going to the beach, but absolutely hates anyone mangling or shortening her name (which is quite common). She binge watches Korean dramas and anime series. She's a freelance writer and has produced content that has appeared in NBC, The Times of India, Time Out Delhi, and other publications.

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