Veteran Congressman Charlie Rangel’s (D-NY) main primary foe wants everyone to be aware of the “widespread voting problems” that occurred in 2012, the last time the two faced off in an election.
State Senator Adriano Espaillat, who is hoping his second Rangel challenge will succeed Tuesday night when the polls close, blasted out an ominous memo to reporters earlier in the day that warns of voter discrimination.
“During the 2012 primary, the 13th District was plagued by voting irregularities that included: Insufficient numbers of Spanish-speaking poll workers; Last-minute reassignments of Spanish-speaking poll workers from Washington Heights to other areas; Prime voters in Washington Heights forced to use provisional paper ballots that were not immediately counted because their names were missing from enrolled voter lists; And incomplete election-night reporting, resulting from unreported results from heavily-Dominican poll sites,” the memo reads. “With the widespread voting problems in 2012, we wanted to make sure you were aware of them in advance of today’s election.”
Many of the Espaillat campaign’s listed concerns are focused on the Hispanic voters and neighborhoods that make up the Dominican-American politician’s base. Rangel’s re-election path was complicated when his historically African-American district was redrawn in 2012 to become 55% Hispanic.
But Espaillat isn’t the only one to raise concerns about the New York City Board of Elections, a much-maligned organisation that many local politicos have accused of incompetence, partisanship, and worse. On Monday, a group of City Council members, some of whom have endorsed Espaillat, launched a preemptive call for the agency to avoid the “glaring inaccuracies” of the 2012 race.
“[V]oters were directed to incorrect poll sites, further discouraging them from casting their ballot. Additionally, the district saw glaring inaccuracies in the vote counting process as the Election Day totals differed enormously just days after, when every vote had finally been counted,” the Council members said.
The BoE didn’t respond to Business Insider’s request for comment Monday, but the board’s executive director, Michael Ryan, dismissed similar worries when speaking with Capital New York.
“We have 100% compliance,” Ryan insisted Friday.
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