City Comptroller Scott Stringer ordered an immediate investigation into the Board of Elections following a deluge of complaints from voters on Tuesday’s New York primary. More than 10,000 voters were also purged from the rolls in Brooklyn.
“There is nothing more sacred in our nation than the right to vote, yet election after election, reports come in of people who were inexplicably purged from the polls, told to vote at the wrong location or unable to get into their polling site,” the Observer quoted Stringer as saying in a statement this afternoon. “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 disorganised, chaotic and inefficient.”
Stringer, in a letter to BOE Executive Director Michael Ryan, brought attention to a string of problems reported by the constituents on Tuesday. That included a voter who arrived at the polling site at 6 a.m. only to find out that the Williamsburg polling site was still closed and would not open anytime soon.
“Comptrollers audit agencies, that’s why comptrollers are there,” said Ryan. “If Comptroller Stringer believes that it is a worthy use of his agency resources to investigate the Board of Elections, we’re no different than any other city agency.”
Voters in the presidential primary in the five boroughs were faced with a range of problems that included broken machines to purged voter rolls, the New York Daily reported. The maximum number of complaints came from Brooklyn. According to state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, the whole sections of the poll books containing the names of the voters went missing.
“These errors indicate that additional major reforms will be needed to the Board of Election,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “The perception that numerous voters may have been disenfranchised undermines the integrity of the entire electoral process, and must be fixed.”
Republican frontrunner Donald Trump called it a rigged system a couple of days before the Tuesday’s New York primary.
“I hope it doesn’t involve violence, and I’m not suggesting that,” the Guardian quoted him as saying. “I hope it doesn’t involve violence and I don’t think it will. But I will say this: it’s a rigged system, it’s a crooked system, it’s 100 percent crooked.”