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Purged from the Voter Rolls? Common Cause/NY is watching

PRESS RELEASE

NEW YORK, N.Y. -- In response to news that dozens of New Yorkers were purged from voter rolls on primary day, Susan Lerner, Executive Director of Common Cause/NY, issued the following statement:

"It is startling to hear from dozens of voters across the state, who have gone in to vote, only to hear they are removed from the rolls. In 2017, Common Cause/NY settled a lawsuit with the NYC Board of Elections, in which the Board agreed to conduct thorough annual audits of lists and adopt a procedure to ensure eligible voters are not removed in error. We have also brought a lawsuit against the New York State Board of Elections challending New York's treatment of inactive voters. Common Cause/NY and our partners will continue to monitor and investigate the situation, and if we do find that our settlement was violated, we will hold the NYCBOE accountable -- making sure voters get the justice they deserve."

Background:

In October 2017, the New York City Board of Elections (NYCBOE) settled a lawsuit with Common Cause/NY, admitting it broke state and federal law when it purged nearly 200,000 voters from the rolls ahead of the presidential primary in April 2016.

In the settlement, NYCBOE agreed to:

Place the NYC BOE under a consent decree that will last at least through the November 2020 election.

Adopt detailed procedures to ensure that eligible voters are not designated for removal in error, identify procedures used for reinstating improperly removed voters, and produce monthly and annual reports identifying the voters who are being removed the rolls or otherwise subjected to list maintenance.

Develop a centralized process allowing the NYC BOE to review voter registration data from borough offices, adopt a training program for list maintenance, and update training manuals and materials.
Conduct an annual audit of list maintenance procedures, and permit the New York Attorney General's office to conduct semi-annual audits.

Other enforcement remedies, such as allowing Plaintiffs the ability to object to Board rules or regulations related to list maintenance that fails to ensure compliance with federal law.