After fielding hundreds of calls a day in regards to difficulties registering to vote for the April 19 New York primary, and investigating the purging of 126,000 voters from rolls, an official of the NY Board of Elections was suspended pending investigation.
This presidential election was already fraught with complaints about possible voter suppression before the primaries arrived to New York. In Arizona’s Maricopa County, the state’s most occupied county, the number of polling places were cut by 70 percent from 200 in 2012, to 60 this year, The Washington Post reported, assigning approximately 21,000 voters per polling place.
Prior to the April 19 primary, 126,000 registered Democrats in Brooklyn were removed. Both the state attorney general and the city comptroller launched investigations after they received over a thousand complaints about voting issues on April 19 alone. Two days after the primary, the chief clerk in Brooklyn was suspended.
“It is absurd that in Brooklyn, New York — where I was born, actually — tens of thousands of people as I understand it, have been purged from the voting rolls,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders said while campaigning at Penn State University.
New York’s primary contests were closed, meaning that independents, or those newly registered with a party could not vote in the primary. This contributed to the mounting frustration with what some consider outdated voter registration laws. Voters hope that the attention drawn to the NY Board of Elections during this election may finally address issues that have garnered criticism for the Board for years.