WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Justice wrote a letter on Wednesday to Oneida County, New York saying they had determined that the county had violated voting rights in the extremely close NY-22 election last November. According to the DOJ, the county is in violation of two federal laws that protect voters: the National Voter Registration Act and the Help America Vote Act. The Department found that 2,400 voter registrations were not processed by the county despite being submitted on time — potentially disenfranchising thousands of eligible voters who were not able to cast their ballots. The county also rejected hundreds of affidavit ballots that the Justice Department says should have been counted.
The NY-22 election prompted a months-long legal battle when the results were too close to call. In February, Claudia Tenney (R) was declared the winner over Rep. Anthony Brindisi (D) by 109 votes.
The Justice Department plans to file a civil lawsuit against the county if a settlement cannot be reached.