Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Politics New York’s Primary Is a Total Disaster

The New York primary is already rife with complaints of voter disenfranchisement in at least two different New York City boroughs.
The Cooper Park House polling location in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint neighborhood was supposed to open at 6 a.m., but the site remained closed for hours, preventing early morning voters trying to cast their ballot before work hours from voting. According to Twitter user @KeithRebecca, voters had been waiting outside for more than two hours for poll workers to open the doors. @Kedesai382, who tried to vote in the early morning hours at Brooklyn’s Atlantic Terminal Senior Citizen Center, also reported that her polling station was closed nearly two hours after voting officially began.
Ben Kesselman of FiveThirtyEight.com also confirmed a delay in opening at his poll location.
At another Brooklyn polling station, a voter recorded poll worker Vitaliy Gazvants informing voters that both voting machines at the precinct were down, and that voters would have to cast paper ballots to be fed into a machine later on. The precinct was originally supposed to have four voting machines, but the only two machines at the precinct were malfunctioning. At one point, a man is heard telling the poll worker, “A piece of paper! You have to trust that somebody is going to enter it correctly.”
“It’s a recipe for disaster,” George Mack, who voted for Hillary Clinton, told the New York Daily News. “Somebody at the end of the day is gonna feed [the ballots] through a machine? I don’t have confidence in that.”
According to the New York Daily News, Queens voters also faced problematic voting machines at the P.S. 52 precinct in the Springfield Gardens neighborhood. Queens Democrat George Mack told the News that he and approximately 50 other voters were told that all three of the precinct’s voting machines weren’t in working order and that they should fill out paper ballots as well.
These irregularities come on top of the news that approximately 126,000 voters were purged from the rolls in Kings County, which houses Brooklyn. As US Uncut reported this morning, Mayor Bill de Blasio is demanding an explanation from the New York City Board of Elections as to why so many Democrats in the state’s most Democratic-leaning county were taken off the voter rolls. The state agency overseeing elections has yet to provide a definitive explanation for the purge.
Other irregularities plaguing the New York primary include the changing of voters’ party affiliation without their consent, even apparent forged signatures on forms changing party affiliation from “Democrat” to “Other” or “Republican.”
Because New York is a closed primary state, these voters are unable to cast their ballots in today’s primary, despite being previously registered as Democrats. Other strange irregularities and inconsistencies have been reported, including this anecdote shared by Shaun King, noted activist and reporter with the New York Daily News.
Because of New York’s closed primary system, roughly 27 percent of the state’s registered voters will be unable to participate.
n King2 hours ago
A friend of mine experienced this at the polls in New York today. A mess.

The below tweet from @rjpct shows the contact information for New York elections officials. Voters can register complaints of voter suppression and voter disenfranchisement.

Who to contact:

The New York primary is seen as the most critically important contest to date, with 247 pledged delegates at stake. Polling station will remain open until 9 p.m.

Amanda Girard is a US Uncut contributor focusing on politics, public policy, and social justice. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Email her at girardamandaaaa@gmail.com.


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