New York AG Accuses Election Watchdog of ‘Voter Deception and Intimidation’

The group claimed to have uncovered data discrepancies related to the 2020 presidential race.
New York AG Accuses Election Watchdog of ‘Voter Deception and Intimidation’
New York Attorney General Letitia James speaks during a press conference in New York on Sept. 21, 2022. (Brittainy Newman/AP Photo)
Naveen Athrappully

New York’s Office of Attorney General (OAG) is accusing election watchdog New York Citizens Audit of falsely accusing voters of committing voter fraud, asking that it stop engaging in “voter deception and intimidation.”

The OAG “has reviewed reports alleging that volunteers from the NY Citizens Audit Civic Fund have confronted voters across the state at their homes, falsely claimed to be Board of Election officials, and falsely accused voters of committing felony voter fraud,” the Sept. 21 letter said, according to Spectrum News.

“These allegations, if true, could constitute unlawful voter deception under New York state law and unlawful voter intimidation under both state and federal law.” The letter asked NY Citizens Audit to “cease and desist any ongoing or contemplated voter deception and intimidation efforts.”

The voters who were accused of criminal voter fraud have expressed outrage and are concerned that their voting activity has “somehow broken the law,” according to the letter. The OAG claimed it has seen “no evidence” that any of the people who have complained about the issue have committed voter fraud.

However, the OAG saw evidence that canvassers who met with the complainants carried forms prepared by NY Citizens Audit, the letter said. Complainants alleged that canvassers showed false badges and other identification to present themselves as government employees.

The OAG gave NY Citizens Audit time until Oct. 2 to provide documents related to the group’s door-to-door canvassing activities, including emails, text messages, and instructions to workers.

NY Citizens Audit dismissed allegations of canvassing. The group “is not engaged in any canvassing, and we have not received this letter as of yet,” it said in a statement, according to AP.

The organization stated that it is “dedicated to restoring and maintaining the essential, founding American principle of sovereignty through honest, provable elections in New York and across the nation,” according to the group’s website.

In May last year, NY Citizens Audit revealed that their research uncovered “shocking violations” of law at the New York State Board of Elections (NYSBOE), with data discrepancies regarding the 2020 presidential race questioning the “legitimacy of the results” of the election.

“For example, a discrepancy of over a quarter of a million votes in the reporting totals published by the Secretary of State, Board of Elections, and precincts. For example, 1.9M registrations in the state voter rolls that are missing from the corresponding county voter rolls,” it said in a May 2022 press release (pdf).

“Over 300,000 false, duplicate registrations for single voters, many of which were utilized nefariously to double vote, an outright felony.”

The group started a petition to decertify the results of the 2020 general election in New York States, garnering 2,000 signatures from residents in 15 counties. NY Citizens Audit had also formally served state Attorney General Letitia James for “redress of grievances” related to the petition.

NYSBOE Warning, Voter Rolls Issue

In an Aug. 30 press release (pdf), NYSBOE said that it was made aware of individuals impersonating election officials. “These individuals are confronting voters regarding their registration status and erroneously accusing voters of committing a crime because of how they appear in the state voter database,” it said.

NYSBOE claimed that voters in at least 13 counties complained about false election officials approaching them. The board has passed such information to federal and state law enforcement, according to AP.

NY Citizens Audit criticized NYSBOE in a Sept. 14 press release (pdf), asking the board’s commissioners to “Do Your Job, Please!”

The group accused NYSBOE of “inattentiveness, lethargy, and abandonment of their sworn duty to uphold the law and maintain voter rolls that are lawfully accurate beyond question.”

“NY Citizens Audit has identified issues in the voter rolls affecting 5,142,950 possible registration violations, and 745,294 possible voting violations that need to be reconciled.”

In May last year, the group provided NYSBOE with “substantial evidence of massive anomalies” in the voter registration rolls. However, NYSBOE has “done nothing” since then to investigate these problems and even misrepresented that it never received any documented information about these issues, the group said.

“This summer, NYSBOE disclosed that rather than investigating issues in the voter rolls brought to its attention, it filed complaints with the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, and local law enforcement in addition to issuing a media alert designed to intimidate the public against cooperating with voter registration inquiries,” according to the release.

NY Citizens Audit called on NYSBOE to make a public disclosure of these complaints and a public accounting of any investigation regarding such complaints.

The group’s executive director, Marly Hornik, insisted that the state’s voters must ensure that the issue with voter rolls is resolved before they “go to vote again.”

“The rolls must be rock solid. Otherwise, the voters are wasting their time in going through an exercise that is mocking democracy. It is mocking each voter. That’s not the America we deserve and it is squarely in the hands of the NYSBOE Commissioners to investigate.”