NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A latest scandal for the New York City Board of Elections – which has exposed the names and addresses of over four million registered voters – now has voters and government watchdogs questioning whether they broke the law.
If you voted last November, you’ve already experienced frustration caused by the BOE. Long lines, broken and jammed voting machines – things that caused Mayor de Blasio to call the embattled agency the “board of excuses.”
Now because the board has posted all your personal information on the internet – including your name, your address and apartment number, and your party affiliation – mail scanners, internet trolls, and even criminals can access your information with just a few clicks of their mouse.
WAS YOUR NAME EXPOSED? CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT: NYC Board Of Elections Exposes All Voters’ Names And Addresses Online
“It’s a violation of voter privacy and I think it doesn’t follow the requirements of New York’s election law,” Susan Lerner of Common Cause NY said.
According to Lerner, the law says the info can only be provided to people who use it for election purposes.
“If I were someone who was selling a flag sweater, I would want to know who are the Republican voters in New York City that I could advertise to. If I was somebody selling a ‘resist’ T-shirt I would want to send it to Democrats. There are no restrictions,” Lerner explained.
CBS2’s Marcia Kramer tried to demand answers from the head of the BOE, but was thwarted.
Michael Ryan, the executive director of the agency, originally agreed to do an interview with CBS2 but then got cold feet and cancelled.
Ryan has already been under fire since the debacle surrounding the 2018 election, where New Yorkers were forced to wait for hours in the pouring rain because of rampant voting machine problems.
Lerner asked why the BOE did not password-protect the information so only people who will use it for election purposes can have access.
New York’s highest elected officials are also slamming the move.
Gov. Cuomo called it “a mistake.”
“I think people can take it and use it to bad effect one way or the other,” Cuomo warned.
Mayor de Blasio said he likes the transparency of it, but added “it’s not a bad idea. The way they did it I think was a mistake.”
“The mayor is a lame duck he should stop it,” New Yorker Christopher Carroll added.
“I don’t agree with that. I don’t think that should be public knowledge. Why don’t they just walk in the voting booth behind you and see who you’re voting for,” Linda Smith said, mocking the BOE.
A spokesperson for the board insisted it was given “permission” to publish the list on its website, but refused to say who gave the green light.