On Tuesday, New York's presidential primary elections day, many New Yorkers were unhappy.
Tens of thousands of Brooklyn Democrats learned they had been unregistered and wouldn't be able to vote. And despite efforts to open polls up to Independent voters, the primary remained closed, shutting out those who had been mistakenly purged from the system and any Independents who missed the deadline to re-register as Republicans or Democrats.
As a result, New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer will audit the Board of Elections to figure out what went wrong. “Why is it alleged that 125,000 people have been removed from the voter rolls? Why did 60,000 people receive notices to vote that didn’t have the primary date? Why were people told they were in the wrong polling place time and time again?” He asked, adding, “The next president of the United States could very easily be decided tonight and yet the incompetence of the Board of Elections puts a cloud over these results.”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Tuesday, that "it has been reported to us from voters and voting rights monitors that the voting lists in Brooklyn contain numerous errors, including the purging of entire buildings and blocks of voters from the voting lists," adding, "the perception that numerous voters may have been disenfranchised undermines the integrity of the entire electoral process and must be fixed."
According to CBS News, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office got 562 calls and 140 emails complaining about voting-related problems from the time the polls opened at 5 a.m. until 3:50 p.m., when there were still more than five hours left to vote. A representative told USA Today that's over four times the amount of complaints the AG's office received during the last general election.
On social media platforms, voters reported incidents of at best severe neglect, and at worse outright suppression.
Even Martha Stewart wasn't safe:
NYC Board of Elections Executive Director Michael Ryan said Tuesday's problems were not unusual, calling them "routine issues that we confront in every election." Ryan added, "this talk about mass problem and widespread difficulty from our travels and travails don't really seem to be out there in quite the way that people are saying."
Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders, who lost to Hillary Clinton in the Democratic race, also weighed in. ""It is absurd that in Brooklyn, New York—where I was born, actually—tens of thousands of people as I understand it, have been purged from the voting rolls," he said, continuing, "what's happening today is a disgrace."
A number of frustrated New Yorkers plan to protest today, inviting people to "join us to stand up for democracy."
Bernie supporters are especially incensed:
Danielle Wiener-Bronner is a news reporter.