By: Vivian Yee
( New York) The New York State attorney general, Eric T. Schneiderman, announced on Wednesday that his office was opening an investigation into voting irregularities during the presidential primary on Tuesday, when New York City’s Board of Elections found itself besieged by complaints that it had removed 160,000 thousand of Democratic voters from the rolls in Brooklyn, among other issues.
The Attorney General said "Yesterday, New Yorkers turned out in impressively high numbers to vote for the nominees in their respective parties. By most accounts, voters cast their ballots smoothly and successfully. However, I am deeply troubled by the volume and consistency of voting irregularities, both in public reports and direct complaints to my office's voter hotline, which received more than one thousand complaints in the course of the day yesterday. That's why today, we have opened an investigation into alleged improprieties in yesterday's voting by the New York City 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."
Mr. Schneiderman’s office said it had received more than 1,000 complaints from voters across the state, dwarfing the roughly 150 reports it received for the 2012 general election. Many people said they had tried to vote, only to be told that they were not registered — the most common complaint, according to Mr. Schneiderman’s office. Among complaints from New York City, the largest chunk sprang from Brooklyn, where there were reports that the voter-information books in some polling places were missing multiple pages.
“By most accounts, voters cast their ballots smoothly and successfully,” Mr. Schneiderman said in a statement. “However, I am deeply troubled by the volume and consistency of voting irregularities.”
The board’s much-maligned Primary Day performance is also being audited by the office of Scott M. Stringer, the city comptroller, who on Wednesday released an online form for voters to submit information about their experiences.
“We’re not shrinking from the investigations,” said Michael J. Ryan, executive director of the Board of Elections, who promised to cooperate with both inquiries and “get to the bottom of” the allegations that voters were dropped from the rolls.