Earlier this week, the New York primary took place and it was a disaster with hundreds of thousands of people unable to vote due to being purged from the electoral roll or missing the registration deadline, six months before the election for voters changing affiliation or six weeks prior for new voters.
New York is a closed primary, which means that people that missed the deadline to register or simply choose to be an independent are unable to vote on their choice of preferred presidential candidate. I fail to understand why being able to vote is so restrictive, it’s almost like the BOE don’t want people to vote.
In my view, all elections should be open (and fair) with the option to register party affiliation on the day of the election, not 6 weeks to 6 months prior to the election like in New York, then we have the over 100,000 people who were removed from the electoral roll for various, frankly dubious reasons.
I am a Bernie Sanders supporter and feel that he was screwed by the disenfranchisement and purging of voters. I’m not saying that Bernie would have beaten Hillary in New York, but I believe it would have been much closer as a large number of purged voters were from Bernie’s home borough of Brooklyn, NY.
It’s not just New York, Maricopa County in Arizona closed 140 polling locations, leaving just 60. That’s one polling place for roughly every 20,000 people, which created a five hour wait time to vote for many voters. Many voters were given provisional ballots because they were mis-registered as independents despite being lifelong democrats. A provisional ballot often means that their vote will not be counted.
And it’s going to happen again, Rhode Island will close 2/3 of their available polling places to save money. The state will open just 144 locations of the 419 that are available. It gets worse, Robert Kando who is supposed to oversee these elections will be on unpaid suspension, this all sounds very dubious indeed.
To the title of this article, it’s hard to take the US presidential primary seriously given the many different types of elections in different states with varying registration deadlines. This is an election to choose a presidential candidate for each party, we need a standardized system, preferably open elections with same day registration, meaning every eligible voter is able to cast a ballot for their preferred candidate.