ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The state attorney general’s office has requested detailed accounting from the New York City Board of Elections on how certain people were purged from voting rolls for the April 19 primaries.
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman opened an investigation after his office received more than 1,000 complaints, mainly from voters turned away from casting primary ballots that included presidential races.
Members of his office’s Civil Rights Bureau met last week with city board officials to follow up on the list.
They are looking at the sample list for patterns or consistent trends that indicate larger registration issues statewide.
The office plans to ask several election boards in other counties to further investigate complaints there.
Some complainants said they were longtime registered Republicans or Democrats whose party status was changed without notification.
The Board of Elections told CBS2 last month that these types of problems happened in previous years.
“The problems were on par with other years, but more media attention has been paid to this primary because of the candidates,” the board said.
Michael Ryan, the board’s executive director, told CBS2’s Valerie Castro that most of the problems were anecdotal.
“Either it was a relatively minor problem that was resolved, or it was a problem that didn’t exist in the first place. And on top of that, there was quite a bit of lack of understanding on the part of voters with respect toNew York’s closed primary system,” Ryan explained.
Ryan told WCBS 880 placed some of the blame on errors by voters.
“A certain amount of this does come down to voter responsibility. You can’t impart information on an audience that is not hungry for it,” Ryan told WCBS 880. “So folks who are going about their lives, and if they’re not paying attention to the process until the last minute and they just go to the poll site without doing any further investigation, they’re doing themselves a disservice and they’re doing a disservice to the other folks who might be inconvenienced because they’re coming to the poll site to vote and the process is being slowed down by people who shouldn’t be there in the first place.”
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