NY voters file lawsuit on eve of primary alleging ‘a threat to the democratic process’

© Lucas Jackson
Hundreds of voters in New York are expected to file a lawsuit against the state Monday claiming their party affiliation was changed without their consent and they cannot vote in Tuesday’s hotly-contested primary.

The lawsuit, which is being filed by Election Justice USA, calls for New York to switch to an open system allowing anyone to vote in the primaries, regardless of their party affiliation.

An online petition has also gathered more than 7,000 signatures calling for the New York Democratic Party to open the 2016 primary to independent voters.

As per the rules of the New York system, unregistered voters had until March 25 to register, while those wanting to change party affiliation had to do so by October 9, 2015.

Numerous voters reportedly have discovered since those deadlines that their party affiliation was altered from Democratic or Republican to “Not affiliated” or “Independent”, two categories that are not eligible for the primary.

Shyla Nelson, a spokeswoman for Election Justice USA, told the Daily News that such changes were “devastating” and that people had “the electoral process deprived of them.”

“If the primary were open, this would be a non-issue for thousands of registered voters that have had this happen to them,” Nelson said. “By making the primary open, it eliminates one of the most vexing problems New Yorkers have dealt with in this primary season.”

“It’s a threat to the democratic process,” he added.

Angered voters have also taken to Facebook where posts detailed how their registration has changed without their knowledge.

Others used the Twitter hashtag #ElectionFraud, claiming the registration mixups is a concerted effort by the Hillary Clinton campaign to ensure that Bernie Sanders does not win the crucial state.

There have also been similar registration issues reported in California, Connecticut, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.

Most controversial to date, however, has been in Arizona where voters discovered they were unable to vote in March’s Democratic primaries as their registration had changed without their consent and many only found out the morning they went to vote.

Hundreds took to social media and sites such as Reddit to air their grievances on how their registration had been changed to “Other” or “None”, while also dealing with the fact that there had been a massive cut to the number of polling stations which caused very long lines.

The Department of Justice is now investigating the matter to determine whether the state's largest county complied with voting rights laws, while Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are reportedly going to sue Arizona over its “history” of voting rights problems.

READ MORE: Dem. Party, Clinton and Sanders to sue Arizona over voting delays in March primaries – report

Anonymous have said that the use of SQL databases by Arizona’s Secretary of State website has, like many other SQL databases, a “structural flaw” which can be easily hacked. So easy, in fact, that the group say it “can literally be taught to a toddler,” leaving any data in such a way open to being leaked or changed without notice.

In December, a database containing the personal information of 191 million voters was discovered by a security researcher online, although it was unclear who owned the database.

Included in the data were voter names, home addresses, IDs, phone numbers, and birth dates, as well as political affiliations and voting histories since 2000.