NY1 Second Election Official Suspended Amid Investigations Into New York Primary Voter Purge by Grace Rauh

NY1
NY1
Second Election Official Suspended Amid Investigations Into New York Primary Voter Purge
Grace Rauh
05/05/2016

 second official from the New York City Board of Elections has been suspended without pay amid investigations into the mysterious removal of about 120,000 voters from the rolls in Brooklyn before last month's presidential primary. Our Grace Rauh has the messy details.

Another election official from Brooklyn is clearing her desk.

The city's Board of Elections voted to suspend without pay Betty Ann Canizio, the deputy chief clerk at the Brooklyn elections office.

The vote was taken on Tuesday, but it was publicly announced at the board meeting Thursday.

"There is a lot of information to go through post-election, with respect to all the details that led up to the voters that were purged," said Michael Ryan, the executive director of the Board of Elections. "And we want to make sure that when we take full and final action, that it's done based on all the facts and done appropriately."

Shortly after the April 19 primary, the board's top official in Brooklyn, Diane Haslett-Rudiano, was temporarily removed from her post, suspended without pay as well, as questions mounted about why some 120,000 voters in Brooklyn had been stripped from the voter rolls. 

Many Brooklyn residents who thought they were registered showed up to vote only to find their names were not on the list.

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is investigating. New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer has also launched his own probe.

"I think what we are going to find is that a lot of these people who were purged aren't around anymore," Ryan said.

To prevent something like that from happening again, the New York City Council is calling on Albany lawmakers to allow same-day voter registration.

Resolutions passed by the council Thursday advocate for no-excuse absentee voting, and would allow people to register with a party up to 10 days before an election.

"For me, voter empowerment and barriers to registration is something I've been working on for nearly a decade," City Councilor Ben Kallos of Manhattan said. "In fact, it's one of the issues that brought me into government."

Meanwhile, the board failed to accomplish what it set out to do at its meeting Thursday: certify the citywide results from last month's primary.

Instead, that was postponed because officials from the Manhattan office failed to show up for the official vote.

Issue: 
Elections