NEW YORK (AP) – A purge that took more than 120,000 voters off the rolls in New York City disproportionately impacted Hispanics, according to an analysis of the names of the voters who were removed.
Public radio station WNYC filed under the state's Freedom of Information Law for the list of voters, and compared those names to Census data of surnames used mainly by Hispanic people.
The station on Tuesday released its analysis, which found that 15.2 percent of people with typically Hispanic last names were taken off the Brooklyn voter rolls, compared with 9.5 percent of everyone else. When WNYC mapped the voters' addresses, they were more likely to be in Hispanic-majority election districts. The analysis found that 13.9 percent of voters in Hispanic-majority districts were removed, compared with 8.7 percent of voters in other districts.
Scores of complaints were made during the April 19th presidential primary by voters who said they were unable to vote. Last month, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman opened an investigation after his office received more than 1,000 complaints, mainly from voters turned away from casting primary ballots that included presidential races. The New York City Board of Elections suspended two Brooklyn election officials pending an internal investigation into the problems.
Between November and April, about 126,000 Brooklyn voters either were taken off the rolls or were deemed "inactive." That came after they obstensibly had moved, their mail was returned as undeliverable or they failed to vote in two federal elections and didn't respond to letters.
Rep. Nydia Velazquez, who represents a congressional district that is home to many of the impacted voters, called for federal election monitors for next week's Congressional primary. Board of Election officials have said all purged voters have been returned to the rolls.