New York Primary Irregularities: 126K Voters Purged, City Officials Vow Investigation

Amid widespread reports of voting irregularities in tonight’s New York primary, including confirmation that over 120,000 voters have been dropped from registration lists, city officials have vowed to investigate and audit the city’s Board of Elections, which is chiefly responsible for maintaining the integrity of the democratic process in New York City.

As The Inquisitr reported previously, tens of thousands of New York voters were purged from the voter lists and denied entry to state polls, leaving many New Yorkers unable to vote in this crucial primary election. The New York Board of Elections reported tonight that more than 120,000 voters have been dropped from the voter rolls in Brooklyn since early November.

“No other borough in New York City, nor county, in the rest of the state saw such a significant decline in active registered Democrats. In fact only 7 of the state’s 62 counties saw a drop in the number of Democrats,” reports NPR on the purged voter lists.

In a new development tonight ahead of the polls closing in the New York primary, New York City comptroller Scott Stringer announced plans to audit the Board of Elections to determine just what happened and why.

“These errors have conspired to bar first time and longtime voters from exercising their fundamental democratic right,” wrote city comptroller Scott Stringer in a letter to the Board of Elections.

The New York City voters were purged, dropped from the voter rolls, and barred from voting in tonight’s primary, in part as a result of some voters being listed as “inactive” by the state Board of Elections. The mistake will potentially cost tens of thousands of voters the ability to vote in New York City tonight. However, Mayor Bill De Blasio has confirmed that he supports the comptroller’s proposal and intends to get to the bottom of the voter registration irregularities that have plagued the city’s primary election.

Additionally, reports Reuters, the irregularities in tonight’s New York primary don’t end with the tens of thousands of voters purged from voter lists – some polling stations aren’t opening on time, or at all, others have faulty voting machines, while others still are reportedly turning people away.

Tonight’s primary race is crucial for both the Republicans and the Democrats, and while the voting issues only seem to be affecting the Democratic primary, Republican voters are also wary of any irregularities; amid a divisive primary season, it appears that Republicans and Democrats in New York agree that this issue needs to be solved. City Comptroller Scott Stringer slammed the Board of Elections for being “consistently disorganized, chaotic and inefficient,” while Mayor De Blasio went so far as to suggest that the Brooklyn office of the Board of Elections should be removed from the process entirely after widespread reports of voting irregularities throughout Brooklyn.

Due to the dense population of New York City, the voters purged from the lists will likely not have much of an effect on the Democratic primary race between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. New York City has some 4 million voters “considered active” for presidential primaries, and the polls suggest that those missing votes would only likely affect the outcome of the race if the Democratic primary was too close to call.

Opinion polling, Reuters reports, puts Clinton well ahead of Sanders and the former Secretary of State is strongly favored to win the popular vote tonight in New York’s primary, but the Bernie Sanders campaign is quick to point out that they’ve come from behind before, and they just might do it again tonight. Still, unless tonight’s Democratic race comes down to the wire, it’s unlikely that the missing voters – purged from the voter rolls and denied their right to vote – will have any tangible impact on the outcome.

[Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images]