A "Voter ID" sign at a polling site in a file photo. (Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)
All voters in Nassau County, New York, were identified as Democrats on their voter ID cards irrespective of political affiliation because of an error by a printing company, triggering accusations about “sabotaging elections” ahead of the upcoming primaries.
The primaries are scheduled for June. Voters in the county, who number nearly a million, began to receive their voter ID cards last week, with voters supporting Republicans, independents, or another political party surprised to see themselves identified as Democrats on 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,” Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman said.
“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 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,” he said.
However, this isn’t 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 erroneously sent mailings to voters containing return envelopes bearing the names and addresses of other people.
Meanwhile, the campaign of Kari Lake, the 2022 Republican candidate for Arizona governor who has challenged the outcome of her race, 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,” her campaign said in a May 21 tweet.
Since New York is a closed primary state, voters registered as belonging to a party aren’t allowed to vote for any other party. As such, if a GOP supporter is identified as Democrat in the voter registration system, that individual would be barred from casting votes in 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 would 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 at no 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 cards to voters.
Phoenix was contracted more than 10 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, Fox reported.
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