Board of Elex suspends honcho over Democratic primary purge

Brooklyn Paper
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She does not have their vote.

The city has suspended a top Brooklyn Democratic elections worker and opened an investigation into her role in a massive voter-roll purge that disenfranchised borough ballot casters in the recent presidential primary, officials announced on May 5.

The Board of Elections voted two days earlier to sideline Democratic chief clerk Betty Ann Canizio — and withhold her six-figure salary — while it determines whether she was culpable for her office crossing off 123,000 Democrats while clearing ineligible ones from the board’s Kings County books. Officials are not sure how long the probe will take — nor have they determined whether the city or an outside group will conduct the inquiry — but the election board’s head is promising it will be exhaustive.

“There is a lot of information to go through post-election with respect to all of the details that led up to the voters that were purged, and we want to make sure that when we take full and final action — that it’s done based on all the facts and done appropriat­ely,” said executive director Michael Ryan.

Meanwhile, Canizio is allowed to continue her bid for Bay Ridge’s 64th Assembly District Democratic committeewoman — a low-level, unpaid elected position primarily responsible for staffing polling sites on election day. She faces incumbent Joane Seminara in a June primary. But she won’t be able to fulfill her role if she wins the while still under investigation, Ryan said.

“She had already been instructed, by me, to refrain from any work associated with the 64th,” he said.

Canizio is the second staffer to come under fire — the board suspended Republican deputy chief clerk Diane Haslett-Rudiano just two days after the primary.

Ryan declined to say whether the city would investigate Brooklyn commissioners Simon Shamoun (R) and John Flateau (D), who are Haslett-Rudiano’s and Canizio’s respective superiors.

Ryan did promise to reinstate voters that the board incorrectly removed from the rolls by the next election day.

“I am certain that they will be reactivated in time for the June primary,” he said.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Joe from Greenpoint says:
Exactly what I would expect a Hillary toady to look like.
May 7, 2016, 12:49 pm
John from Sunset Park says:
Hundreds of articles about the purged voters and not one says who was purged.

The "investigation" by Stringer and Schneidermann hasn't turned up much and the fact that they are both supporting Hillary leads me to believe this whole thing will end with some low level hack taking the fall.
May 7, 2016, 3:34 pm

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