nys voters purged from voting rolls

Paul Sableman/Flickr @rtraister/Twitter (CC-BY) Remix by Jason Reed

Voters in New York encounter problems at polls in Democratic primary

Something's up with today's primary.


Ellen Ioanes


Posted on Sep 13, 2018   Updated on May 21, 2021, 6:35 am CDT

Several New York voters reported Thursday that they were not on the voter rolls at their voting locations during today’s Democratic primary for governor despite being registered voters and not having changed addresses since the last election.

Registered Democrats in Brooklyn, Washington Heights, and Pelham, New York reported that their names were missing from voter rolls in their voting locations, despite having voted there before and having made no changes in their registration or address.

Some individuals who have reported difficulties voting also expressed their plans to vote for Cynthia Nixon for governor. Nixon’s progressive stance on issues like single-payer healthcare and marijuana legalization make her an appealing candidate and a formidable alternative to Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Writer Rebecca Traister tweeted about her voting experience, saying that she had to cast an affidavit ballotessentially an absentee ballot for those who are present and registered but encounter problems voting.

Traister said her neighbor had experienced the same thing, as did journalist Lydia Polgreen.


James Ryan, a professor at New York University, tweeted that both he and his wife were not on the voter rolls at their polling place in Washington Heights. Ryan said that he had planned on voting for progressive candidates Nixon, Jumaane Williams, and Zephyr Teachout in today’s elections.


Jennifer Merritt said that several people in her hometown of Pelham had voted by affidavit ballot because their names had disappeared from the rolls at the polling places where they’re voted before.


Twitter users @butwhyevernot, @jess_mc, and @katiekings all reported that they were not present on the voter rolls in their respective polling places when they went to vote. In @butwhyevernot’s case, others at her polling place were also told that their names were not on the voting list.


Writer Elon Green reported having trouble at the polls, too:


Twitter user @adrianeisoverit reported that she couldn’t vote in today’s primary because her registration was changed to Republican.


Dante DeBlasio, the son of NYC mayor Bill DeBlasio, also apparently had to vote by affidavit today:

Throughout the day, more people reported having problems voting in today’s primaries.

This is not the first time New Yorkers have experienced serious problems casting their votes. In 2016, widespread voter roll purges prompted a lawsuit by the good government group Common Cause and Eric Schneiderman, the former Attorney General of New York.

The New York Board of Elections did not comment on the situation by press time.

Share this article
*First Published: Sep 13, 2018, 2:57 pm CDT