First Arizona, and now New York? During the April 19th primary election, there were now-familiar cries of disenfranchisement to be heard across the media. Even when the polls were hours from closing, the hotline for election complaints in New York had already received more calls than in the 2012 election cycle. Between 6a.m. and 3:50p.m., 562 complaints were sent by phone and 140 by email. That’s more than four times the amount of complaints received during the 2012 general election.
And what exactly were these complaints about? The most common complaint was of people who tried to vote in the primary but had found that their registration had disappeared. The second most common complaints was of individuals who were not registered with the party whose primary they had come to vote for.
Because New York is a closed primary state, people have to be registered with the Democratic party to vote in the Democratic primary, or the Republican party to vote with the Republican primary. Those have been the rules for years, but some would argue that those rules are more than a little unfair. Individuals had a deadline to change their party affiliation back in October, when many New York residents may have not been paying attention to the election.
Furthermore, the fact that thousands of people, over 120,000 in Brooklyn alone, had their registrations mysteriously disappear, is a bit suspicious in and of itself.
New York residents, through the organization Election Justice USA, filed an emergency lawsuit to try and get provisional ballots counted. That is, those who were unable to vote yet filled out a provisional ballot, a ballot which is not always counted will still have their vote counted. Unfortunately, the federal judge sent this case to the county level, and that means decisions are still being made.
In the meantime, voters had to get a court order from a judge to maintain the legitimacy of their vote. This, of course, is beyond the reasonable means of many people with a full work day and family responsibilities.
Let’s face it – it just shouldn’t be this hard to vote.
By Olivia Walker – DontComply.com
I have been an author and journalist for over 10 years, my writing passions include politics and modern culture.
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