Feds: Board of Elex illegally purged voter rolls

Roll on: Electoral workers check voters’ names off the rolls at a polling station at the Brooklyn Museum in 2016.
Brooklyn Paper
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The Brooklyn Board of Elections illegally purged more than 117,000 voters from the electoral rolls ahead of the April 19 presidential primary, the Feds charge in a recent lawsuit.

The suit — first launched by good-government group Common Cause in November before the Department of Justice got on board on Jan. 12 — accuses the board of defying federal laws by nixing voters solely because they hadn’t voted in previous elections.

A state can boot someone off the rolls if they die or move outside of their registered city or county, but not simply because they fail to exercise their democratic right to cast a ballot.

The board can prove a voter has moved if he or she fails to vote in two successive federal general elections and then fails to respond to a notice sent to their home, but many of the purged voters never received one, the suit alleges.

What’s more, some 4,100 of them had actually had voted since 2008 after all, it says.

The Feds want the board’s leaders to own up to their alleged mistakes and promise to reform so citizens aren’t shafted again, according to the prosecutor in charge.

“The right of citizens to vote is a critical part of democratic process,” said U.S. attorney Robert Capers. “We will work tirelessly to ensure that, in the future, the New York City Board of Elections fulfills its statutory obligation to maintain the rolls properly, and provide appropriate notice to voters when it does so.”

Many of the spurned Kings County voters were incensed when they showed up to vote in the Democratic primary on April 19 — then still a hotly contested face off between Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders — only to learn their name had mysteriously vanished from the roll.

The city subsequently launched an investigation into the shemozzle, and suspended Republican deputy chief clerk Diane Haslett-Rudiano and her Democratic counterpart Betty Ann Canizio for the duration.

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is still performing his own inquiry, but that probe is still ongoing, a spokeswoman said.

The Board of Elections cannot comment on pending litigation, a spokeswoman said, but she did confirm that Canizio and Haslett-Rudiano remain suspended.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Beverly from Park Slope says:
No surprise, many of the employees live in Brighton Beach (Russia). You know what that means.
Jan. 14, 2017, 8:18 am
Rory Dineen from Park Slope says:
Engage on this issue Brooklyn! Eliminating corruption in Kings County and crafting an efficient, transparent election process is paramount to reduce income inequality and cultivate a more representative democracy.
Jan. 14, 2017, 11:08 am
Rufus Leaking from BH says:
My father voted republican all his life. After he died, he started voting democrat.
Jan. 14, 2017, 11:42 am
Jason from The Heights says:
117,000 voters purged is over 10% of all voters in Brooklyn. It was done to help Hillary in primary against Bernie so I have 2 questions:
1- Were democrats only purged?
2- Were they under 40 years of age?
Jan. 14, 2017, 1:37 pm
Johnny D from Under the Boardwalk says:
Schneiderman has a lot of press conferences about investigations and then nothing happens
Jan. 14, 2017, 5:21 pm
Jim from Cobble Hill says:
Oh SNAP! Debbie Wasserman Schults did some shiit that happened here? oes noes! ...time to stop participating in the baby boomer political machines.
Jan. 14, 2017, 8:10 pm
Jim from Cobble Hill says:
Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and the rest of the Hillary-ites honestly never thought that everything would blow up in their faces.
Jan. 15, 2017, 3:10 pm
Anne Waters from Park Slope says:
Read the details, most of the purged voters were Donald Trump supporters. These people were progressing their crazy liberal viewpoints at the expense of liberty and voting. They even refused to accept the results after they happened by saying he isn't their president (actually he is). They hate democracy and want to scare people into voting as they do. They are really frightening and I am scared for our country with people like them around.
Jan. 16, 2017, 9:45 am
K. from ArKady says:
Yes comrade Waters, strum the balalaika and hum along as we sing the new Nationale for the Soviet-American Union! Ignore those nuclear armed ICBMs pointing at all of our major cities, Vlad is our friend!
Jan. 16, 2017, 1:34 pm
Brooklynite from Brooklyn says:
This had little to do with Hillary, Trump or Bernie. If anyone was targeted, it was people with Hispanic names. This is a huge issue no matter who you supported, and I wish people would fight to defend democracy, not re-argue for their preferred presidential candidate.
Jan. 17, 2017, 10:31 am
Poll Worker from Fort Greene says:
I tbink a purge took place on younger voters,specifically young male voters, Bernie supporters.

Was it the DNC, probably.
Jan. 17, 2017, 7:16 pm
Honeycita from Williamsburg says:
Take it from me, I was purged. They said they didn't want "my kind" to dirty their pretty voting machines! They said I was not one of them! Well here's some news for you - I am one of you! I can vote! I will vote! Keep on purging me, I will vote anyway! Just try it, and see!
Jan. 18, 2017, 9:56 am

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