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Entire Block of Clinton Hill Voters Omitted From Rolls, Poll Worker Says

 An entire block of Clinton Hill residents was left off the voter’s registration list during Tuesday's primary election, according to poll workers at P.S. 11.
An entire block of Clinton Hill residents was left off the voter’s registration list during Tuesday's primary election, according to poll workers at P.S. 11.
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DNAinfo/Alexandra Leon

CLINTON HILL — An entire block of Clinton Hill residents was left off the voter’s registration list at one local polling station during Tuesday’s primary election, according to poll workers.

Several who live on Lafayette Avenue and were assigned to vote at P.S. 11 in Clinton Hill, at 419 Waverly Ave., did not show up on the list and had to cast their vote by filling out an affidavit, poll workers said.

"Over the course of the day we had quite a few residents of the Lafayette Avenue area who came looking to vote and for some reason their addresses were omitted from the voter registration lists,” said a poll worker who did not want to be identified because she called in sick from work to be at the polling site.

“They were pretty active voters, so it was pretty disappointing for them during a key time and a key period to not be able to officially cast their vote in a machine today.”

Clinton Hill resident John Philp, 45, said he's consistently voted at P.S. 11 in every local and state election since he moved to the neighborhood 14 years ago.

He said he and his wife checked his registration on the Board of Elections website two weeks ago to make sure he was still registered to vote at P.S. 11, even though he recently changed his address, and it all checked out. But on election day, he wasn't on the voter registration list at P.S. 11.

"Lo and behold, I wasn't there and neither was my wife," Philp said. "We went to the polls today and we weren’t on the rolls at all, under the old or new address."

He said he and his wife had to fill out affidavits instead of casting an official ballot.

“It’s a little frustrating, I want to make sure there’s accountability," Philp said. "I don't know what the board has planned to put people’s minds at ease for long-term registered democrats to know their vote was counted."

Annie-Rose Strasser, another Clinton Hill resident, said she also checked the elections website before the primary to make sure she was registered. Although the website told her she was on the roll and assigned to P.S. 11, poll workers at the site couldn't find her name in the books, so she had to fill out an affidavit.

“It’s such a elaborate process just to be able to vote, I’m not really surprised something went wrong,” Strasser said.

Strasser said she just recently registered to vote in New York and was looking forward to the primary after moving to the city from D.C.

“I moved here from D.C. a little over a year ago and I was obviously very excited to be in a place with an actual vote, a meaningful vote,” Strasser said.

She said she was also surprised when a poll worker told her she couldn't vote for delegates that weren't supporting the candidate she was voting for.

"It was very surprising to me that the person who worked there didn’t have the right information," Strasser said.

The voter registration issue seemed to affect residents who live in election districts 34 and 35, which includes addresses between 282 and 382 Lafayette Ave., according to P.S. 11 election coordinator Denise Ajayi.

As of 7 p.m., District 34 reported 25 affidavit votes cast out of 450, District 39 reported about 30 affidavit votes cast out of 360, and District 40 estimated about 37 affidavit votes cast out of 300, the Fort Greene-Clinton Hill Patch reported.

Some residents who live on Clinton and Washington avenues were also left off the voter roll for no apparent reason, according to poll workers. 

“They should have been here, but we couldn’t find them,” said the poll worker who did not want to be identified. “They weren’t in the book and they should have been.”

She said those voters who didn’t show up on the list were “outraged” that they couldn’t cast their official ballot. 

“They came out to vote and be a part of this really important primary in their state and they weren’t able to participate in the way they should be participating,” she said.

In one case, a Clinton Hill resident and her husband showed up to vote together, but only one of them appeared on the registration list.

“I said, 'I see your wife, but I don’t see you,'” the poll worker said.

She said two voters even left the poll site altogether because they were so upset.

“I’ve had a couple that did not stay to vote because they were so upset that they were not on the voter registration list,” she said.

Residents tweeted about the snafu, using hashtags like #VoterSuppression and #VoterFraud.

Primary day ballot issues weren’t just limited to Clinton Hill. Voters across the city who visited their longtime polling places on Tuesday said they struggled to cast their ballot amid paperwork snafus or poll worker error.

Officials with the Board of Elections was not immediately available to comment.