All voters of Nassau County, New York, were identified as Democrats on their voter ID cards irrespective of political affiliation due to a botch-up by a printing company, triggering accusations about “sabotaging elections” ahead of the upcoming primaries.
The primaries are scheduled for June. Voters of the county, amounting to nearly a million, began to receive their voter ID cards on Tuesday, with voters supporting Republicans, Independents, or another political party surprised to see themselves identified as Democrats in the cards, according to NBC. “We’re already starting to get phone calls from people, saying ‘I’m a registered Republican, I’m a registered Conservative—how come I’m being identified as a Democrat? Who changed my registration?’ And they’re quite upset about it,” said Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman.
“There’s a lot of confusion, there’s a lot of people emotionally upset about this,” he added. Blakeman, a Republican, is pinning the blame on Rochester-based Phoenix Graphics, the printing company hired by Nassau County’s Board of Elections to print the voter ID cards.
The printing company called it an “isolated event” that was the result of a human error. “We apologize for our mistake, especially to Nassau County officials, who bear no responsibility for this problem.”
However, this is not the first time that Phoenix Graphics has committed such a mistake. In 2020, Phoenix messed up absentee ballots for 99,000 voters in Brooklyn. The printing firm had erroneously sent mailings to voters containing return envelopes having the names and addresses of other people.
The campaign for Kari Lake (R-Ariz.), who is running for the post of Arizona Governor, slammed the incident. “A ‘printing error’ in Nassau County, N.Y. led to every voter in that county being listed as a Democrat. There’s that word again. ‘Printer error.’ This is just their blanket excuse for sabotaging elections and hoping nobody calls them on it,” the campaign said in a May 21 tweet.
Since New York is a closed primary state, voters registered as belonging to a party are not allowed to vote for any other party. As such, if a GOP supporter is identified as Democrat in the voter registration system, the individual would be barred from casting votes for the Republican primary.
Trust in Elections
Out of the 972,000 voters in the county, Democrats account for around 40 percent. At a press conference, Blakeman ruled out partisanship as a cause for the mishap and said that the county is investigating the matter.
“I don’t think the Democratic Party is engaged in a conspiracy to create havoc in their own primaries. I don’t think the Democratic Party wants a bunch of Republicans showing up to vote in their primaries,” said Blakeman, according to the New York Post.
However, some voters are now questioning the election process due to the typo error. “I have no faith in this country today, as far as what the politics are,” said George Klein, a voter from Nassau. “I’m going to vote Republican primary day, and Democrat on that is not going to affect it,” he said referring to the erroneous ID card he received.
During the 2022 midterms, only 56 percent of Republicans thought the elections will be administered “very” or “somewhat” well, according to Pew Research.
Accurate Voter ID Cards
According to Phoenix Graphics, they are correcting the error and will send out new and accurate voter ID cards soon without any additional cost to taxpayers.
Democratic County Election Commissioner Jim Scheuerman told the New York Post that Phoenix will be paying around $300,000 required to resend the correct registration cards to the county’s voters.
Phoenix was contracted more than ten years ago via a sealed-bid process. Officials with Nassau County’s Board of Elections are reportedly not ruling out considering other vendors to ensure that the recent mistake doesn’t occur again, according to Fox.
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