“Daily News: City Election Board to Revamp its Voter Registration Roll Procedures Following Presidential Primary Poll Chaos”
November 2, 2017
As published by The Daily News, on November 1, 2017.
New York City’s Board of Elections has agreed to overhaul the way it maintains voter registration rolls under a deal reached with state and federal prosecutors.
City election officials also agreed to review every voter registration it has canceled since July 1, 2013, to determine whether they were legally justified, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced Wednesday.
The settlement stems from probes that were launched by Schneiderman and the U.S. Attorney’s Office following the New York presidential primary in April of 2016, when more than 1,500 complaints were filed about a voter purge in Brooklyn and other issues.
Investigators found that the BOE had wrongfully purged more than 200,000 voters from its rolls since 2014, violating both state and federal law.
“The right to vote is sacred to our democracy,” Schneiderman said. “Yet the NYC Board of Elections illegally purged over 200,000 New Yorkers from the rolls, violating the law and New Yorkers’ trust in the institutions meant to protect their rights.”
Under the settlement, the BOE must create a detailed plan for voter list maintenance and beef up training procedures for its staff. The agency must also submit to monitoring from both Schneiderman’s staff and the Department of Justice.
“The improper removal of voters from the rolls deprives voters of their voice in choosing elected representatives,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Bridget M. Rohde of the Eastern District of New York. “The settlement in this case restores that voice and ensures that eligible voters will be heard in the future.”
A spokeswoman for the BOE declined to comment, noting that the settlement still needs to be approved by the courts.