200,000 New Yorkers Returned to Voting Rolls

BROOKLYN (CN) — The New York State Board of Elections will return 200,000 people to its list of registered voters and overhaul its registration and maintenance policies to settle a lawsuit from the state, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said Wednesday.

The settlement also requires the Board of Elections to be monitored, to train its staff, and to review every New York voter eliminated from the list since 2013.

The settlement is memorialized in a consent decree filed Tuesday, which is subject to court approval.

Schneiderman claims that 200,000 New Yorkers were illegally purged from the rolls, more than 100,000 for alleged failure to vote, and nearly 100,000 under a procedure that violated state and federal laws. His office said in a statement Wednesday that it had received more than 1,500 complaints after the April 2016 presidential primaries, alleging “widespread voter issues, including a massive and illegal voter purge in Brooklyn.

Fourteen Long Island Democrats filed a federal class-action in April 2016, saying their names had been expunged from the voter rolls. U.S. District Judge Sandra J. Feuerstein dismissed it in June for failure to state a claim.

But five days before the November general election, Common Cause New York sued again, claiming the Board of Elections violated Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 in the way it removed registered voters from the list.

In December 2016, Schneiderman’s office published a report that found problems in registration processing and deadlines, reduced poll hours and lack of communication about polling locations and election dates. In January this year, Schneiderman’s office intervened in the Common Cause case, which led to this week’s settlement.

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