Millions of New Yorkers Disenfranchised from Primaries Thanks to State's Restrictive Voting Laws

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Millions of New Yorkers Disenfranchised from Primaries Thanks to State's Restrictive Voting Laws

"Millions of New Yorkers won’t be able to vote today, thanks to the state's restrictive voting laws." (Photo: Keith Ivey/flickr/cc)

Voters head to the polls today in New York for both the Democratic and Republican primary in one of the most closely watched races of the election. But millions of New Yorkers won’t be able to vote, thanks to the state’s restrictive voting laws.

The state has no early voting, no Election Day registration, and excuse-only absentee balloting. The voter registration deadline for the primary closed 25 days ago, before any candidate had even campaigned in New York. Meanwhile, independent or unaffiliated voters had to change their party registrations back in October—over 190 days ago—to vote in today’s closed Democratic or Republican primaries.

Meanwhile, WNYC is reporting there are 60,000 fewer registered Democrats in Brooklyn and no clear reason why. This comes as a group of New Yorkers who saw their party affiliations mysteriously switched filed a lawsuit seeking to open the state’s closed primary so that they can cast a ballot. We speak to The Nation’s Ari Berman, author of "Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America."

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