Some registered voters in New York City were confused when they received letters from Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office erroneously warning them they’re marked as inactive and risk having to vote by affidavit in the upcoming elections.
The 400,000 letters sent out this month came from the mayor’s newly-created “Democracy NYC” initiative to get more people to vote.
Bronx voter David Wuchinich told the Daily News he got the letter even though he voted “in every, every election, every primary” and called the Board of Elections, which confirmed his active registration. The registered Democrat said they told him he wasn’t the first to call and he worried the letters could scare off voters.
“My thought was people who maybe don’t pursue it would think, ‘oh my G-d, well they don’t have me listed, I guess I can’t vote,’” Wuchinich said. “I could see that being a reaction among some people, which is not good.”
A Board of Elections spokeswoman said they weren’t the source of the bad information.
“I can say with certainty that they did not get it from us,” said Valerie Vazquez Diaz, a spokeswoman for the Board of Elections.
However, de Blasio spokesman Eric Phillips put the blame on the Board of Elections, saying “no list is perfect.”
“But we’re cutting a wide universe to ensure people check and fix it if they must,” Phillips said in a tweet. “This is a good sign!”