Horror stories abound in New York after the Tuesday primaries as voters report being dropped from rolls, turned away by poll workers, and subjected to long lines in understaffed polling places. City authorities admitted that at least 125,000 voters were mysteriously purged from the polls in Brooklyn alone.
The New York state attorney general’s office reported that its voter hotline had received 562 phone calls and 140 emails by Tuesday afternoon, more than five times as many complaints than during the entire 2012 general election.
“This is by far the largest volume of complaints we have received for an election since Attorney General Schneiderman took office in 2011,” Nick Benson, press secretary for the state attorney general’s office said in a statement.
New Yorker Alba Guerrero was hoping to vote for Sanders, but was initially turned away because poll workers believed she was registered Republican. New York's closed primary only allowed registered Democrats to vote in the Democratic primary, and the last day to register was back in October.
She said her registration was switched from Democrat to Republican without her knowledge, and claims that someone forged her signature on a voter registration form in order to do so.
“It’s just disheartening. We’re supposed to be the number one country in the world, but things like this you’d imagine would happen in a second or third-world country,” Guerrero said in an interview. “What happened to me, basically, was fraud.”
The Sanders campaign released a statement expressing concerns over the widespread voter confusion:
"We are deeply disturbed by what we’re hearing from polling places across the state. From long lines and dramatic understaffing to longtime voters being forced to cast affidavit ballots and thousands of registered New Yorkers being dropped from the rolls, what’s happening today is a disgrace. We need to be making it easier for people to vote, not inventing arbitrary obstacles — and today’s shameful demonstration must underline the urgent importance of fixing voting laws across the country."
The next five contests will be held on April 26 in Connecticut, Maryland, Rhode Island, Delaware, and Pennsylvania. All but Rhode Island are closed primaries like New York.
Photo Source: Reuters