The number of purged voters is larger than previously estimated—according to WNYC, new data shows up to 126,000 Democrats in Brooklyn were taken off voter rolls. New York City mayor Bill de Blasio has "ordered the New York City Board of Elections to investigate."
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has announced that he will be investigating the New York Board of Elections: "If necessary, we will initiate inquiries in additional areas of the state where voting irregularities appeared unusually high. Voting is the cornerstone of our democracy, and if any New Yorker was illegally prevented from voting, I will do everything in my power to make their vote count and ensure that it never happens again."
The judge ruling on Election Justice USA's emergency lawsuit postponed hearings to a later date, stating that all of New York's 60 counties must be listed as defendants on the case.
(Several part tweet) NYPrimary election lawsuit: Judge orders hearing 4 later date, instructs plaintiffs to name every single NY county as..— Jordan (@JordanChariton) April 19, 2016
Defendants and give each county notice that they have to appear in court to defend their voter registration process (over 60 counties)...— Jordan (@JordanChariton) April 19, 2016
NY Board of Election said they have nothing to do with the problems, are "not responsible for the counties" #NYPrimary— Jordan (@JordanChariton) April 19, 2016
Because the suit was not dismissed, this does give indication that it is being considered seriously by the court.
Election Justice USA is focusing on the voter purge in Brooklyn, and has added the Brooklyn Board of Elections, as well as the New York Board of Elections as defendants.
The scale of voter suppression and election fraud during the 2016 election cycle has been difficult to grasp—without concrete numbers, it is impossible to definitively conclude how many voters have suffered from purged or changed registrations, arbitrary registration deadlines, ludicrous voter ID laws, and massive polling lines, among other issues.
However, new numbers allow a glimpse into the sheer magnitude of these issues: According to Shyla Nelson, a spokesperson for Election Justice USA, over 63,500 individuals have been purged from voter registration rolls in Brooklyn, New York alone.
With abundant anecdotes of party affiliations being switched in closed primary states such as California, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Oregon, and Kentucky, it is unbelievable to imagine the widespread nature of this problem.
To combat this in the short-term, Election Justice USA filed an emergency injunction on Monday to open the closed New York primary due to pervasive voter disenfranchisement. Over 300 individuals who vouched that their party affiliations have been switched are serving as plaintiffs in the case.
According to ThinkProgress, Nelson expressed that, “This is our attempt to provide a means of recourse for those thousands of New York voters who find themselves in this very frustrating position, and to raise awareness about the need for a new level of accountability in the electoral process.”
Over 3 million voters in New York are registered as Independent or unaffiliated; this lawsuit would give them the opportunity to participate in the primary.
The candidate that will likely be most affected by this is Bernie Sanders, as he possesses a large coalition of Independent and new voters rather than long-standing Democrats—with party affiliations switched and registrations disappearing, it has been a large majority of Sanders voters that have been disenfranchised.
Nelson noted this, stating, “A closed primary, under these circumstances, definitely has an unfavorable impact on an insurgent candidate like Bernie, whose base is broader and more diverse than the Democratic Party itself.”
With election fraud occurring in multiple states such as Arizona and New York, it begs the question: What is at the core of this issue? As Jordan Chariton, reporter for “The Young Turks,” asked Nelson, “Is there something nefarious going on here...Or is it just widespread bureaucratic incompetence?”
Nelson could (or would) not say, calling it a "mystery...we're putting the puzzle pieces together," but the larger and more prevalent this becomes, the more important it becomes to dig into the heart of the massive voter suppression we are witnessing.
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