Bd. of Elections: No one was disenfranchised

Hundreds of New Yorkers reported problems at the polls Tuesday. Bd of Elections Dir. Mike Ryan responded during Good Day NY on Wednesday.

- Michael J. Ryan, the Executive Director of the NYC Board of Elections, responded Wednesday to hundreds of reports of voting problems on primary day.

“This was part of a routine process. No one was disenfranchised. We had complaints. We tracked them down. It just doesn’t bare out that there were mass disenfranchised voters," said Ryan during 'Good Day New York.'

New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer announced that his office will commission an audit of the city's Board of Elections. The state Attorney General's Office said it had more than 700 complaints from voters.

Ryan said the Board of Elections would investigate post-election, but would find it "very unusual" if anyone tampered with the voter rolls.

"What we did see was a concerted effort by some folks to apparently protest New York's closed primary process by showing up to vote when they weren't registered to vote. We tracked down dozens of voters who said they were disenfranchised and it turned out they were not registered to vote," said Ryan.

Barbara Aquilla said she spent more than an hour at her midtown east polling spot trying to cast her ballot. The poll workers eventually let her submit an emergency ballot.

On social media people shared their gripes. Some said their polling places opened late. But many complaints echoed this tweet by @JoeSonofJoe: "Everyone having problems voting. Registered properly as a Dem on NY Voter Lookup, yet magically not in books at polling center. #PrimaryDay."

Shyla Nelson is the spokesperson for Election Justice USA, which was in federal court Tuesday arguing on behalf of 200 New Yorkers who said they were erroneously taken off the voting rolls or had their party affiliation switched without their consent.

The complaints come as state election board records show a drop of 120,000 registered Democrats in Brooklyn since November of last year. Even Mayor Bill de Blasio said that stat is startling.

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