In New York state, voters are given a state-issued voter identification number when they register. These are known as State Board of Election IDentification numbers (SBOEID). Some counties assign a county-level ID number in addition to the SBOEID. The purpose of the SBOEID is to identify each unique voter in the state of New York. Unfortunately, some voters are less unique than others; 299,920 to be exact.
AuditNY is a citizen-led group organized for the purpose of uncovering the truth behind certified election results for the 2020 General Election in New York. They have been studying the election since late summer, 2021. They have made many Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) requests of counties and the state to gain access to various election-related records. Many counties have not complied with FOIL law by ignoring or refusing AuditNY’s requests. One record they did receive is a database of the voter rolls for the entire state from the New York State Board of Elections. The database contains about 20 million records.
A voter approached AuditNY and asked them to look into her own registration status in the state database. She had been registered to vote in a certain county, then moved out of state. When she returned several years later, she moved to an address in a different county. At about that time, she discovered she was still registered to vote at her old address. A search of the state-provided voter rolls confirmed that she was simultaneously registered in two counties. Both registrations were listed as “active”, meaning a vote could be legally cast in either record.
There are a few details worth understanding in the context of later developments. This voter’s first and second registrations were exact matches for first name, last name, birth date, and address (one former, one current). However, the middle initial had been changed in the earlier registration from the correct letter to a different one. The second registration had the correct initial. The voter history for the first registration was wrong. It reflected participation in fewer elections than the voter had actually voted in. However, unless another person with the same unusual first name, last name, and birth date lived in the same apartment at the same time as the voter who brought this to AuditNY’s attention, both registrations were based on the same individual’s personal information. Each of the two registrations had different SBOEIDs. The combination of unique SBOEIDs and “active” status for both registrations allows both registrations to be used to cast votes.
AuditNY then expanded their search. They looked for matching first and last names and birth dates. They found 299,920 unique name/birth date combinations that were assigned two or more unique SBOEIDs. The total number of registration records involved is 608,760, of which a minimum of 308,840 cannot be legitimate. That figure represents the total number of registrations minus the total number of unique persons identified. This is the best case scenario. It assumes that one registration per named voter is legitimate. It is possible that in some cases, all of the multiple registrations are fictitious.
Incidentally, AuditNY found many examples of records where voter names were subtly altered. For instance, by adding “jr.”, or “IV” as a suffix, or by spelling out a middle name in one entry, using an initial in another, and leaving it blank in a third. One example caught by chance spelled a first name two different ways, “Yvette” and “Evette”. Each had a unique SBOEID but everything else matched.
In many cases, all of the SBOEIDs assigned to a name were registered on the same day and to the same address. There is one example from Brooklyn that concerns 11 unique SBOEIDs assigned to the same man at the same address within a 2-day period (2/19/2020-2/20/2020). The man had an unusual name that occurs once nationwide in the multiple searches conducted to discover whether the name was real or fictitious. In those searches, the only person in the country with that name lived in Brooklyn. Or rather, had lived in Brooklyn at one time. Some of the information found on this individual indicated the possibility that he had moved to Israel prior to the flurry of registrations in his name. If those registrations were for that individual, all 11 are likely fake. If they are someone else with the same name in the same city, then 10 of the registrations are false.
Several aspects of this discovery indicate the likelihood that someone or some group of people with official access to the voter rolls inserted these duplicate records, and assigned unique SBOEIDs to each one. First, it would be difficult for an individual to walk into a county elections board and register 11 times on the same day, or in the same 24 hours, with the same name, birth date, and address, without being noticed. This is particularly true when it involves almost 300,000 voters. Second, SBOEIDs aren’t selected or assigned by the voter. They are assigned by the state as part of the registration process. To be given different SBOEIDs based on the same underlying information should have raised flags within the Board of Elections (BOE) to prevent the registration from going through. The simplest explanation for this data is that someone with official access added these records illegally.
There were 212,125 votes associated with these records. That is within the maximum number of potentially legal registrations but AuditNY discovered that thousands of votes cannot be legitimate. For instance, One man with 7 unique SBOEIDs has 4 votes listed in his record. Only one of those can be legitimate, meaning a minimum of 3 are fraudulent.
The effect of these excess SBOEIDs is that the voter rolls have been falsified, possibly intentionally, by someone who likely had official access to the rolls. That could constitute destruction of election data that the state is bound to preserve under penalty of law. One could argue that adding false registrations does not “destroy” because it is an addition, not a subtraction. That would be like saying that adding paint to a famous painting in a museum doesn’t “destroy” it because the original painting still exists under the newly applied paint. In the case of voter rolls, just as with a painting, alteration is destruction.
AuditNY believes that this information, and other data like it, warrants an investigation, an audit, and possible decertification. What do you think?