A New York County wants to prevent Chassidic voters from casting ballots in an upcoming election because of their religion, a new federal lawsuit charges.
The Sullivan County Board of Elections, which oversees voting in the Village of Bloomingburg, sent notices to 184 of 285 registered voters January 16 stating that it “intended to cancel their voter registration and to deprive them of the right to vote”–and more than 160 of those 184 voters are Hasidim, alleges the lawsuit filed Monday in U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York. Bloomingburg, a Catskills hamlet with a population of 420, has seen a large influx of Hasidim in recent years.
“All of them had previously registered to vote in Bloomingburg, which is in Sullivan County,” the complaint continues, but the notice demanded those voters give new evidence to prove “why your registration should not be cancelled.”
Plaintiffs in the suit and other Chassidim complied with these demands, the suit says, but the BOE said February 27 it would cancel 156 of the 184 voters’ registrations–without further explanation. “What makes the action even more egregious here is that the Board of Elections has sought to cancel the votes of virtually every Hasidic Jewish resident of Bloomingburg. The Board plainly singled out these voters for challenge based entirely upon their religion,” the lawsuit declares.
The BOE directed requests for comment to the Sullivan County Attorney’s Office, which said it was unable to comment on the suit at this time. Read more at NEWSWEEK.