Facing accusations of fraud and disenfranchisement, the New York City Board of Elections voted unanimously last week to certify the results of New York’s hotly contested April 19 presidential primary. But the results are sure to leave many unsatisfied. The board threw out nearly 91,000 of the 121,056 provisional ballots cast by voters who had been unable to vote on primary day either because their names were taken off the rolls or because their party affiliation had been dropped or switched to a different party without their knowing. So roughly three-quarters of the affidavits were deemed invalid and not counted, according to the tallies posted on the Board of Elections Web site last Friday. That’s in addition to all those who did not file affidavits because they were not aware they could or because their polling places ran out of them.
In Brooklyn alone, some 126,000 registered voters were removed from active status between November of last year and this April — or roughly 8 percent of the borough’s active voters. It’s the only county in the state that lost voters in that time period.
The B.O.E. says most of the affidavit ballots it rejected were submitted by people who are not affiliated with any party and hence ineligible to vote in New York’s closed primary. But critics say the board’s accounting is flawed because they relied on the same faulty voter data that was used to purge people from the rolls in the first place.
“They just rubber-stamped it, even though the board knows full well that the results were incomplete and inaccurate,” said Andrew Fader, a certified poll watcher from the Bronx who went to observe the counting of the affidavit ballots as a representative of a Bernie Sanders delegate.