Top NYC Board of Elections Official Suspended After Primary Day Complaints

A voter - left, standing in the foreground - reads the ballot before voting at the Crown Gardens Community Center polling station in the neighborhood of Crown Heights in Brooklyn, NY on the 19th of April, 2016. This ... A voter - left, standing in the foreground - reads the ballot before voting at the Crown Gardens Community Center polling station in the neighborhood of Crown Heights in Brooklyn, NY on the 19th of April, 2016. This is the date of NY state primaries for both the Democratic and the Republican parties in order to select their candidates for the US presidential election of the upcoming November. Photo by: Alessandro Vecchi/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images MORE LESS
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A top New York City Board of Elections official was suspended Thursday after voters filed thousands of complaints on primary day.

The board’s executive committee said in a statement that Diane Haslett-Rudiano, the chief clerk in Brooklyn, had been suspended without pay pending an internal investigation.

According to the city’s records, the names of some 126,000 Brooklyn voters were removed from the rolls ahead of Tuesday’s primary contest. Board of Elections Executive Director Michael Ryan told CNN that of that total, 12,000 had moved out of the borough, 44,000 were listed as inactive after mailings to their homes bounced back, and 70,000 were removed after failing to vote in two successive federal elections.

New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer noted that other voter complaints included shuttered polling stations and conflicting information about voting times.

Both Stringer and state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman have opened audits of New York City’s Board of Elections over reported “irregularities.”

“The administration of the voter rolls in Brooklyn is of major concern to our office and is a focus of our investigation,” New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) has voiced support for Stringer’s audit.

“The perception that numerous voters may have been disenfranchised undermines the integrity of the entire electoral process and must be fixed,” de Blasio said in a statement on Tuesday.

The Board of Elections said in their statement that they will “fully cooperate” with both investigations.

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  1. Let’s see here…“Maude O’Grady, born 1846.” Nope, best leave her on the list.

  2. The Commissioners’ Executive Committee of the Board of Elections in the City of New York voted to suspend Borough Office Chief Clerk, Diane Haslett-Rudiano without pay, effective immediately pending an internal investigation into the administration of the voter rolls in the Borough of Brooklyn.

    Suspended without pay prior to anyone actually looking into this? Wow. I get the audit, since if there’s real question, it should be looked into, but given the Brooklyn has something like 2.5M people, the numbers don’t really seem to be outlandish for normal voter roll cleanup Is there more to this outside of (mostly) Bernie-ite bellowing?

  3. Irregularities in Brooklyn. Where Bernie Sanders grew up? Think maybe a lot of those disenfranchised voters might have voted for Sanders, and the Democratic establishment couldn’t have that?

  4. Yeah, I’m not really getting the impression of “voter suppression” perhaps as much as incompetence. I’m not saying that incompetence should be tolerated; I’m saying that it doesn’t appear as though this was anything nefarious.

    EDIT TO ADD: Less Kris Kobach more jamoke.

  5. Sure. but Hillary won Brooklyn by a huge margin, so unless there was some sort of amazing ability to target specific voters for culling, it just seems really unlikely that something like this would actually help her. If one wanted to hurt Bernie, then presumably they’d cull voters from upstate, in places where he did well. Doing so in a relative Hillary stronghold would actually hurt her numbers.

    It’s possible that only Bernie leaning demographics were culled here, but that doesn’t seem terribly likely and would be pretty obvious on review. As noted, I’m not against an audit since confidence in our voting is important, but I’m not getting the “we was robbed” conspiracy stuff that seems to float around it.

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