As Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump struck up decisive victories in Tuesday’s New York Primaries, several area politicians have expressed concern over what they described as mass voter “roll purging.”
“On a day when all of Brooklyn should be celebrating incredible voter participation at poll sites across our borough, I am troubled over the tens of thousands of our neighbors who have been inexplicably purged from the voter rolls,” said a furious Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.
“We cannot abide any obstacle that advances the perception or reality of voter disenfranchisement,” he added, urging the New York City Board of Elections (BOE) to “immediately reverse these errors in advance of June’s congressional primaries.”
Adams also called on New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer to “expedite the completion of his audit of the agency.”
“Our City has a duty to ensure the BOE is properly funded, staffed, trained, and equipped to run 21st century elections,” he said.
Brooklyn Assemblywoman Diana Richardson, whose parents hail from Aruba and St. Martin, said she also received “numerous complaints” from voters across her 43rd district that encompasses parts of Crown Heights.
Richardson said some voters’ names were not in the voter registration book, and that their party affiliation was declared, “although they previously registered with a specific party.”
Richardson was expected to write the BOE on Wednesday “to address this issue and to obtain information on what voters need to do to correct this error.
“Your vote is your voice, and the 43rd AD [Assembly District] will not be silenced,” she said.
But while there were election day issues, some legislators were on the stump, endorsing candidates and trying to get voters to change their minds.
Sen. Jesse Hamilton, who represents the 20th Senatorial District in Brooklyn, said a national conversation was “sorely” needed that turned to public housing and the challenges communities, like Brownsville, face.
He said recent visits by Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders to his district helped “focus attention on public housing and the measures we need to take to lift these communities up.”
“Creating truly livable public housing, educating youth for the jobs of tomorrow, and tackling the public health challenges that face low-income communities, those are issues that deserve to be top of the agenda of the next president of the United States,” Hamilton said.
“Communities that have faced under-investment need our attention,” he said. “And I am glad to see that Secretary Clinton and Senator Sanders agree.”
Herman Hall, the Grenadian-born publisher of Brooklyn’s Everybody’s magazine, said older Caribbean-American voters and older Caribbean political leaders, such as Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke, are supporting Clinton; while younger Caribbean voters and younger elected officials, such Councilman Jumaane Williams, of Grenadian parentage, are supporting Sanders.
Hall said New York-Caribbean voters, who are Republicans, were split in Tuesday’s Primaries.
He said some were expected to vote for Trump, while others leaned towards Texas Sen. Ted Cruz or Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
Brooklyn Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte, of Haitian parentage, did not hide who she fully supported. She endorsed Clinton long before Tuesday’s vote.
“Hillary Clinton has the experience and will continue to fight for our country,” she said.
Bichotte, who represents the 42nd Assembly District in Brooklyn, also supported candidates for delegates in the 9th Congressional District, who pledge to support Clinton at the Democratic National Convention.
They include Nick Perry, Assemblymember, 58th Assembly District; Lori Citron-Knipel, District Leader, 44th Assembly District; and Cory Provost, District Leader, 58th Assembly District.
Williams, representative for the 45th Council District in Brooklyn, said that, after months of “great deliberation,” he was “proud to announce today that I’ve felt the ‘Bern’ and am lending my support to the candidacy of the next President of the United States, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Brooklyn and Vermont.
“I have spent many months feeling the ‘warmth’ for this campaign,” Williams said. “I have long admired Sen. Sanders’ passion for progressive issues and his ability to use his campaign to spark the kind of discussions that have been lacking in the political discourse for some time.”
In Tuesday’s poll, Trump essentially regained full control of the Republican presidential race with a strong victory, while Clinton struck Sanders, with a big blow, in an unanticipated strong finish.