A day after New York City’s comptroller announced an audit of the city’s Board of Elections for allegedly pruning Brooklyn Democrats from the voting rolls, the state's attorney general has announced an investigation into possible malfeasance in Tuesday’s primary election in the Big Apple.
“I am deeply troubled by the volume and consistency of voting irregularities, both in public reports and in direct complaints to my office’s voter hotline,” Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement Wednesday. Schneiderman said his office received more than 1,000 complaints Tuesday and was considering similar inquiries in other parts of the state “where voting irregularities appeared unusually high.”
— Eric Schneiderman (@AGSchneiderman) April 20, 2016
On Tuesday, New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer announced his office is investigating the local Election Board, which confirmed that 125,000 Democrats in Brooklyn (also known as Kings County) had been dropped from voting eligibility since November 2015.
It’s not clear if this could have tipped the election in favor of former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who handily won the borough where her rival Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders was born. Clinton won Kings Country districts by between five and 28 percentage points, according to the state Board of Elections.
“There is nothing more sacred in our nation than the right to vote, yet election after election, reports come in of people who were inexplicably purged from the polls, told to vote at the wrong location, or unable to get in to their polling site,” Stringer said in a letter announcing the audit.
Michael Ryan, head of New York City’s Board of Elections, told the New York Times that the culling of people from voters rolls did not “shock my conscience” because at the same time 63,000 voters were added to a list of 800,000 registered Brooklyn Democrats. Thousands of people are removed and added to the rolls every year, he added.