By Carmen Glover
New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer announced on primary day, April 19, that he will launch an audit of the Board of Elections and rid the agency of the dysfunction that has plagued the entity for decades. The audit, which Mayor Bill de Blasio said he supports, resulted from mounting tales of anger from numerous residents who were not allowed to vote in the hotly contested primary.
“These allegations are very serious and unfortunately in New York City this is nothing new. We have long accepted the Board of Elections’ incompetence and over politicization of this process,” Stringer said. For his part, Board of Elections spokesman Michael Ryan said he would “cooperate with the audit.”
In Brooklyn, for instance, more than 126, 000 residents’ names were purged from the electoral rolls. Disenfranchised voters showed up at their voting sites only to be turned away. Some people complained that their names were stricken from the rolls without their permission. Still others complained that their party affiliation was switched from Democrat to “unaffiliated.”
To add insult to injury, many people showed up at voting sites only to be greeted with a comedy of chaos ranging from no ballots, to no workers, to broken machines, and of course their names being missing from the roster. Some people gave up on their quest to vote after waiting in line for hours while election staffers struggled to sort things out.
“The voting rolls in Brooklyn contain numerous errors, including the purging of entire buildings and blocks of voters from the voting lists.These errors today indicate that additional major reforms will be needed to the Board of Election and in the state law governing it.”
For the mayor, a Brooklyn native, the primary day problems are personal since he lived there with his family before moving into Gracie Mansion, the office mayoral residence. The mayor has rented out the family home in Brooklyn. The borough is also the childhood home of Senator Bernie Sanders, who is challenging Former Secretary of State and Former Senator of New York Hillary Clinton for the chance to represent the Democratic Party in the November presidential election.
Many determined and scrappy New York voters trekked to their local Board of Elections office where they obtained court orders to take to their designated polling site in order to vote–OnPointPress.net-—