New York suspended and may fire the chief clerk of elections in Brooklyn, who was responsible for wiping over 126,000 voters from the records.
Diane Haslett-Rudiano, who has served since 1999, was suspended “without pay, effective immediately, pending an internal investigation into the administration of the voter rolls in the Borough of Brooklyn,” said a Board of Elections press release Thursday night.
The board may fire her as soon as Tuesday, and the New York Daily News reported that colleagues said she is being “forced out.”
“Why is it alleged that 125,000 people have been removed from the voter rolls? Why did 60,000 people receive notices to vote that didn’t have the primary date? Why were people told they were in the wrong polling place time and time again?” New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer told CBS 2. “The next president of the United States could very easily be decided tonight and yet the incompetence of the Board of Elections puts a cloud over these results.”
The New York Attorney General said he received over 1,000 voter complaints, compared to 150 complaints in 2012. Haslett-Rudiano is thought to have skipped a step in a regular protocol of updating the voter list with deaths and changes of address.
The error resulted in nearly 8 percent of Brooklyn’s registered voters being denied their ballot.
The City Comptroller and the state Attorney General have launched investigations into the irregularities, also taking into account long lines, late starts and lack of adequate voting equipment. Voter complaints also include not being registered with a political party and not being granted affidavit ballots.
Haslett-Rudiano was previously investigated for registering to vote using an address where she did not live. The probe found the accusation true, but she kept her job.
The same day, the Virginia governor granted between 180,000 and 210,000 ex-felons the right to vote.
“The disenfranchisement of people who have served their sentences was an outdated, discriminatory vestige of our nation’s Jim Crow past,” Tram Nguyen, co-executive director of activist group New Virginia Majority, told the Washington Post.
Three states still permanently deny all people with felony convictions the right to vote, and only two states — Vermont and Maine — allow all people formerly convicted to vote.