We are now learning more about why so many voters were missing from the voter list during Tuesday's presidential primary. We take a look at the mistake and what it means for certifying the election results. NY1's Courtney Gross explains.
Elizabeth Cohen has been a poll worker for eight years.
During Tuesday's presidential primary, she says she knew something was amiss.
"There were many people who said they lived at the same site, same address for many, many years and hadn't moved and had previously voted and had been on the rolls, and were somehow not on the rolls," Cohen said.
So, she told them to fill out an affidavit ballot.
"There were many more affidavit ballots than in any previous year," Cohen said.
Perhaps because voters across the city were missing from the rolls.
"We have not seen the issue of improper purging of the files at this level ever before," State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said Thursday.
Already, a top Board of Election official is paying the price for it.
Late Thursday, Diane Haslett-Rudiano was suspended without pay, pending further investigation, for allegedly botching the cleanup of the voter roll in Brooklyn.
Over the past several months, about 126,000 voters were inexplicably removed from the borough's active voter list.
A Board of Election official tells NY1 that during routine maintenance of that roll, Haslett-Rudiano missed a step. She allegedly directed staff to remove people from the active voter list if they hadn't voted in recent elections.
But missing from that purge was checking to see if that voter had stopped receiving mail at that address.
So, if those voters showed up at the polls Tuesday, they were forced to fill out affidavit ballots.
Officials tell us that in a typical election, the majority of affidavit ballots are invalidated and thrown out, which happens for a variety of reasons, like being at the wrong poll site.
"In primary elections, where there's been a lot of publicity and there's a high voter turnout, that rate can go as high as 70 percent," said Douglas Kellner, the co-chair of the State Board of Elections.
We do not know how many affidavit ballots were cast during Tuesday's primary.
The Board of Elections will not begin to count them until next week, something many people will be watching closely
"Something is wrong here, and I think we all felt that way," Cohen said.