Controversy is boiling over 120,000 ‘missing’ Democratic voters in Brooklyn
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.
There goes all that conspiracy theory about Brooklyn voter rolls. Btw, anyone with proof of Dem reg. denied ballot? pic.twitter.com/n8Zoaa7rYR
— Spandan @ TPV (@thepeoplesview) April 19, 2016
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.
Moved to an "inactive voter" file in New York? That happens if you haven't voted in last 2 FEDERAL elections. Haven't voted for 8-12 years.
— Donna Marie (@Oooooo_Donna) April 20, 2016
Just called; my voter reg is 'inactive' & listed w no party. Both are unexplainable, so my point is CHECK, ppl! Wherever u are! Don't wait.
— ?Nezua? (@nezua) April 20, 2016
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.
And if you subscribe to theory that Hillary runs voter rolls, 'purging' voters in Brooklyn an odd strategy since she won county by 20 points
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) April 21, 2016
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.
— Sid Klum (@SidKlum) April 21, 2016
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.
— Lady Vanya Yount (@rattle_and_burn) April 20, 2016
It was cited that there were issues with voters in Brooklyn yesterday, but I was also de-registered as a Democrat for no reason.
— Nick Reineke @ PAX (@RockLeeSmile) April 20, 2016
— Sarah Aziza (@SarahAziza1) April 19, 2016
Apparently, someone was able to prove, and a judge agreed that he had his signature forged on a voter registration, #NYPrimary
— Laura v2.0 (@auberginefedora) April 20, 2016
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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.