Espaillat calls on DOJ to provide federal election monitors to oversee June 28 primary
New York.-Today, State Senator Adriano Espaillat calledon the U.S. Department of Justice to provide federal election monitors in thecongressional primary on June 28.
The letter addressed to Attorney General Loretta Lynchfollows a similar call made last week by Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY)requesting the U.S. Department of Justice provide federal election monitorsfollowing the purge of tens of thousands of Brooklyn voters in New York’s Aprilpresidential primary.
In the letter today he notes “The New York City Board ofElections has repeatedly failed to execute its primary responsibility to ensureall duly qualified voters can fully participate in our democracy.” Read thefull letter below.
June 24, 2016
The Honorable Loretta E. Lynch
Attorney General of the United States
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001
Dear Attorney General Lynch,
I am writing following rampant voter irregularities in theApril primary and request that you assign federal election monitors to overseethe congressional primary on Tuesday, June 28, in New York’s 13th District, forwhich I am a candidate.
For almost 50 years since the passage of the 1965 VotingRights Act and its periodic renewals, the federal government has ensured equityat the ballot box throughout our nation. Until it was ruled unconstitutional bythe Supreme Court in 2013, Section 4 of the voting rights act required reviewby the Justice Department before election procedures, polling sites, anddistrict boundaries could be changed. These protections extended to severalstates and municipalities, including New York’s 13th Congressional District inthe Bronx and Manhattan.
As a resident of this District, my neighbors and I need thereturn of these protections.
Just ask the voters in the 79th election district innorthern Manhattan’s 71st Assembly District, who have voted in four differentpoll sites in as many elections, or the 69th ED in the 72nd AD, where votersbounced around between two poll sites over several election cycles. Or ask the120,000 overwhelmingly Latino voters purged from Brooklyn’s voter rolls—anegregious example of voter disenfranchisement. The New York City Board ofElections has repeatedly failed to execute its primary responsibility to ensureall duly qualified voters can fully participate in our democracy. With the BOEundertaking no significant reforms since the voter purge in April’spresidential primary, voters across the 13th District and beyond, deservefederal oversight.
I am not alone in my concern. Congresswoman Nydia Velasquezhas already voiced similar concerns about voter disenfranchisement in NewYork’s 7th District. As a candidate in a congressional district where 55% ofresidents are Latino, this disenfranchisement is especially worrisome.
These pervasive challenges make it difficult to haveconfidence that voters will not face barriers at the ballot box on ElectionDay. The most basic tenet of democracy is the right to vote, and I believe itis essential for the Department of Justice to assign federal election monitorsin the 13th congressional district.”