More than 126,000 Democrats have been removed from the voter rolls in Brooklyn as voters in the state prepared to vote today in the critical primary. Other problems were plaguing the elections in New York City as voters reported their polling stations not being open and machines not working.
The Board of Elections confirmed that over 126,000 Democrats had been stripped, but insisted it was nothing out of the ordinary. Executive Director Michael Ryan said that “We’re not finding that there were issues throughout the city that are any different than what we experience in other elections.” Ryan said that 12,000 voters had moved out of the borough, 44,000 were placed on a list of inactive voters, and 70,000 who had been on that list were removed because they did not respond to mailings or vote in the past two federal elections.
The Sanders campaign blasted the news, with spokesman Karthik Ganapathy saying, “From long lines and dramatic understaffing to longtime voters being forced to cast affidavit ballots and thousands of registered New Yorkers being dropped from the rolls, what’s happening today is a disgrace.”
The Clinton campaign did not immediately respond to TKNN.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has endorsed Hillary Clinton, said that the Board needs reform and called the removal a “purge.” “It has been reported to us from voters and voting rights monitors that the voting lists in Brooklyn contain numerous errors, including the purging of entire buildings and blocks of voters from the voting lists,” de Blasio said in a statement. He also called on the Board to “reverse the purge.”
“The perception that numerous voters may have been disenfranchised undermines the integrity of the entire electoral process and must be fixed,” said the Mayor.
New York Comptroller Scott Stringer announced that he will be auditing the Board and said, “The people of New York City have lost confidence that the Board of Elections can effectively administer elections and we intend to find out why the BOE is so consistently disorganized, chaotic and inefficient.”