"Voting should be an easily accessible right instead of subject to unnecessary obstacles," Susan Lerner, executive director of Common Cause New York, said in a statement.
The purge, which came to light in news reports in April 2016 after New York's presidential primary, was an attempt to "clean up" voter rolls in Brooklyn, according to court filings. Beginning in late 2013 or early 2014, officials sought to remove active-status voters who hadn't voted since 2008 and whose registration records had no activity since that year, court documents said.
But New York state election law prohibits eliminating voters from registration rolls simply for not voting -- unless they've been marked as "inactive" for two federal general elections, according to court papers.
Perhaps to his credit, long after these events occurred, Eric Schneiderman filed a suit as Attorney General of New York, and said this:
In a statement, Schneiderman said the city's Board of Elections "illegally purged over 200,000 New Yorkers from the rolls, violating the law and New Yorkers' trust in the institutions meant to protect their rights."
Schneiderman said the proposed settlement "would overhaul NYCBOE's practices for maintaining voter rolls, ensuring that the issues that led to the purges are addressed, and establishing frequent monitoring and oversight. My office will continue to protect all voters' access to the polls and continue to fight to expand voting rights."
Maybe our petition took a full nine months to gestate in Attorney General Schneiderman's mind? That is the amount of time between when we filed the petition with him in May 2016 and when his suit began. Better late than never?
Nothing was, however, done by the NY Attorney General (nor really anyone else) about the real perpetrators of the purging, and as welcome as the settlement was, "full of high sentence" and wonderful ex post facto posturing, the implications remain most disturbing.
At that time, in May of 2016, in the last month of the primary election, we asked the NY York Attorney General, the US Attorney for the Southern District, and the US Commission for Elections, to intervene and help bring about a completely redone New York State Primary, which seemed appropriate, given the fatal flaws in an election with 1/3 of a million voters purged, but that of course was too much to ask.
See also: Hillary Clinton & Rep. Nita Lowey, the Probable Causes of Brooklyn Voter Purges
Going back to a bit earlier coverage, from the NY Post April 21, 2016
The city's Board of Elections suspended the top official at its Brooklyn office without pay as they probe the mysterious purge of more than 120,000 Democratic voters from the borough rolls that wreaked havoc on Tuesday presidential primaries. The solo suspension of Diane Haslett-Rudiano from her $125,000-a-year post over widespread polling problems is raising eyebrows that extend beyond party lines.
Democrat Betty Ann Canizio, the BOE Deputy Clerk for Brooklyn, is the official primarily responsible for overseeing the borough's Democratic voting rolls while Haslett-Rudiano, a Republican, oversees her party's rolls, sources said. "It sounds like they cut a deal to make the Republican the scapegoat and protect Betty Ann," said an elected Brooklyn official who's a Democrat.