400,000 New Yorkers Were Told Their Voter Registrations Were Inactive. Oops.

The city sent letters to 400,000 people telling them they were listed on voter rolls as inactive; many recipients feared a voter suppression scheme.

Comments: 23

  1. I hate this administration. Get rid of the carriage horses and tell people--mistakenly--that they are inactive voters and have only a few days to reregister.

  2. If deBlasio were a republican, people would be screaming to have him removed from office, since he is ultimately responsible for this mess. And a lot of other messes too. The only reason the City is still in reasonably good shape (apart from the subways) is because Mike B. did such a good job. deBlasio is absolutely useless.

  3. Wait-- voting which is considered private is actually an accumulation of data that is sold to private firms? Smacks of Facebook's relationship with Cambridge Analytics

  4. @Joan Greenbaum: No, no, no. Voting is private, but voter registration is a public property available upon request. My wife is campaigning for local democrats. She was handed a list of registered voters with no party affiliation. She is getting the word out for the Dems using the same database they believe should not exist.

  5. So, here's the question: How could one possibly be marked as an 'inactive voter' if they actually voted in the Primary last month? The mind boggles.

  6. The biggest question I have is, why is voter data available for purchase in the first place? Registering to vote should not mean registering to have your personal information sold to the highest bidder. Whatever happened to the right to privacy???

  7. @soleilame: Take it up with the FOIL regarding public data.

  8. If we have a right to vote, then why do we have to sign up for it? Why do we have to jump thru hoops, signing up at a specific time, with specific information and proof that we have that right. I have to put my crumbs together and bring them to an agency and say please sir, may I vote? Any time you have to claim a right, to prove it to the gov't or anyone, that right can be obstructed and suppressed. That's why they put up the hoops, so that only the right people vote.

  9. @Peter S.: I have the right to keep and bear arms. But in NY I had to undergo fingerprinting, photographing, Federal background check, State background check, County background check, submit 5 references, have my boss interviewed, have my wife interviewed, and wait 9 months. Everytime I buy or sell a handgun I have to go through a background check even though I have my State issued permit. Rights were never promised to be easy. Voting rights are guaranteed to US citizens only. Jumping through the hoops prove that you are a US citizen. Otherwise the Russians would simply come over and stuff the ballot box.

  10. @Georgi The right to keep and bear arms is conditional. It says so in the constitution. Its that bit that says, "a well regulated militia". If you had a right to bear arms, that bit would've been dropped out. The laws in NYS are related to safety, both your own and the publics. So you can legally own a gun, but its a conditional law, not a right. Its the same with voting. You don't have the right to vote, its a conditional law and any condition can be corrupted by those in power. That was my point.

  11. This happened for the Democratic Presidential Primary at around the same scale. Loads of people learning that they were no longer affiliated with any party. Seemed like anybody I talked to to whom this happened was a vocal Bernie supporter. Strange thing is there was no outcry from the media. I wonder why? To this day I am registered as a member of the Green Party because every time I try to register as a Democrat I get mail saying that I have successfully registered in the Green Party. I've even been sent a card giving me accessible access to my voting place, which I have never requested and do not need.

  12. The distinct right (and obligation, if one is responsible) to vote must not be suppressed by any means; instead, helped by any means possible, as it reflects the will of the people, and the avoidance of electing opportunists 'a la Trump' to abuse their power once perched up to do uncontrolled damage...and screw the very people who brought them there. The current situation is unsustainable...if this democracy is worth it's name.

  13. Ironic that the the Mayor’s initiative to help people protect their right to vote will apparently result in suppressing the vote. Maybe Governor Cuomo could establish a new Commission to investigate what the Mayor’s people did wrong. Could there be a lesson here about the ability of government bureaucrats to shoot themselves in the foot (at taxpayer expense of course)? It probably doesn’t matter whether these 400,000 people vote or not since NYC is almost entirely a one party jurisdiction.

  14. It is amazing what Democrats will do to suppress the vote. The mayor who was elected by New Yorkers by a wide margin is now actively trying to eliminate registered voters. Or does this merely prove Republican suspicions about the competence of government workers? Disgraceful that Democrats should do something like this.

  15. I smell a fake news-esque comment. Clearly it was not went my the government, but by a private company. Whether it was an error, or on purpose remains to be seen. The lack of comment from the company seems to be indicative that it was not a decision made at high levels, but by a lower level manager who probably got directions mixed up.

  16. @Tony Guessing you feel the same about what the Republicans are doing in Georgia, North Dakota, Florida, Missouri and other swing states?

  17. Another instance where the hack de Blasio totally messes something up & then blames someone else for his incompetence.

  18. The folks who run the New York City Board of Elections couldn't turn on a water faucet with both hands. Add in some unhelpful help from DeBlasio, and chaos ensues. Sounds about par for the course from this clump of knuckleheads.

  19. I got one of these letters and spent hours trying to track down its origin. Not only am I an active voter, but I've voted in every single election and primary since I became eligible 44 years ago. I've lived in NYC, at my current address, for over ten years. How could any entity, public or private, have data to the contrary? What I find most troubling about this episode is that the letter came from an official city government agency, on official letterhead, but the only contacts provided were to the Elections Board, which had absolutely nothing to do with it. The mayor's office came up with a plan, failed to tell anyone about it and then dumped responsibility on someone else. Unbelievable! I tried to contact the mayor's office about the letter, and came up with dead end after dead end. There are no phone numbers, e-mail addresses or P.O. boxes listed for any of the de Blasio team members on the city's website. I couldn't even find anything about Ayirini Fonseca-Sabune, the mayor's new democracy officer, other than her press release. The only recourse is to send a letter or e-mail to the office of the mayor, or to call 311. I've seen more intelligent planning come out of a third grade classroom than out of this mayor's office. What a waste of taxpayer resources.

  20. As a PA election official, I challenge the idea that inactive voters should be prevented from voting because of lack of recent participation. That is what provisional ballots should be used for.. 'Cleansing' voter registration roles is fine, but not if it prevents voters from voting the next time they are interested enough to vote. If they are alive, still resident, not felons, etc., that is, if they meet the requirements, than they should be given a provisional ballot. Those ballots can be challenged if the election is close.

  21. Enough with this nonsense. Here is how you “encourage voting.” Make Election Day a national holiday and give everyone a federally mandated day-off from work — on a MONDAY. Allow voting to occur over an entire weekend into that Monday. Problem solved.

  22. If I got this I would just do what it told me. Why is that so hard?

  23. Daughter lives in ATL, moved and, on a hunch, checked registration last month....all good. Last week was notified she and 56,000 other ATL voters were "purged" from the roles. Now maybe it's a bureaucratic mix-up. Guess it happens in NYC too....??? No coincidence......