After reading a few reports of weirdness at the polls on social media this morning, I did a quick check of the New York State database of registered voters. I registered as a Democrat when I got my driver license renewed in November, so I was sure my name would appear, but I just wanted to make sure. It didn’t appear.
The website directed me to contact my county board of elections if I had any questions, so I called them. After many, many rings, a friendly and helpful man picked up and I gave him my name, birth date, and address. He looked me up, and sure enough, I was registered and ready to vote.
My election day problem was pretty easily solved, but I’m glad I called in rather than taking the apparently inaccurate website’s word for it. Others weren’t so lucky. Plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit against New York are claiming that their party affiliation was mysteriously changed, or their registration disappeared altogether, despite having voted regularly in past primaries. Our closed primary system means that people who registered Independent or with a third party aren’t eligible to vote today at all.
Did you try to vote today and have a hard time doing it? Are you a card-carrying member of the Working Families Party who thought you’d be able to cast your support for Bernie today? One of these Trump-supporting Democrats who supposedly exist somewhere? A Brooklynite who turned up to the polls only to find out you weren’t registered at all?