New York, NY – As lawyers and advocates headed into federal court in New York and Arizona on Tuesday, fighting for a Democratic election process free of voter suppression tactics, discriminatory ousting and ignorance of a true popular vote, more trouble was occurring at the polls in New York.
WNYC reported that according to Michael Ryan, executive director of the city Board of Elections, the Brooklyn voter purge number, originally believed to be estimated at 63,000 had doubled to 126,000 voters. The number contributed to the county’s dramatic drop in the number of Democrats registered.
“This number surprises me,” Mayor Bill de Blasio told WNYC. “I admit that Brooklyn has had a lot of transient population – that’s obvious. Lot of people moving in, lot of people moving out. That might account for some of it. But I’m confused since so many people have moved in, that the number would move that much in the negative direction.”
In addition to those purged from the voter rolls, Election Justice USA who filed the New York lawsuit said complainants, checking their registration status prior to the primary, discovered that their status’ had been changed, having them listed as Republicans or unaffiliated. Te New York taxpayers were rendered ineligible to vote in the Presidential primary.
Hot mess at the polls
On Tuesday morning voters began reporting problems at the very open of polls, reaching out or venting via social media and news streams.
The New York Daily News reported voters outraged by polling places not open, others unable to open due to lack of elections officials or keys to the building, broken and missing voting machines, and changed voting venues. Voters also reported having to go through local courts to obtain sanctioned permission to vote.
“We are encouraging all independent and disenfranchised voters to vote tomorrow by provisional ballot,” Shyla Nelson, spokesperson for Election Justice USA said in an interview Monday evening.
“They should tell poll workers that there is a motion pending in Federal District Court to declare the Primary open, and they are casting their vote in the expectation of a favorable ruling by the judge tomorrow.” – Shyla Nelson, spokeswoman EJUSA
The advocacy agency filed the lawsuit on Monday afternoon in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York and were heard before Judge Sandra J. Feuerstein on Tuesday afternoon. Reports from the courthouse had the judge asking Plaintiff’s attorneys to add each NY County as an individual defendant, in order to compel them to appear and explain the issues with their election systems.
According to a Facebook post from Nelson, the judge ruled to “keep the primary closed and to maintain existing protocols for voter registration appeals (i.e. – visit your district judge for court order).”
Reports from the courthouse from the Young Turks, had New York State Board of Elections punting responsibility to the individual counties.
The complaint was not dismissed and the right to contest the election preserved.