October 28th, 2008
10:05 PM ET
14 years ago

'Rock the Vote' warns of registration backlog

NEW YORK (CNN) - The voter registration campaign Rock the Vote said Tuesday that more than 2,000 people it helped register to vote in New York have yet to appear on state voter rolls, a situation it blamed on a backlog at registration offices.

Rock the Vote spokeswoman Chrissy Faessen said state election officials lack the necessary resources to process tens of thousands of last-minute registration forms the youth-oriented group filed, raising questions about whether those people would be able to cast ballots on November 4.

"There's a huge capacity backlog," she said. "We don't have any indication that those will get on the rolls before Election Day."

Faessen told CNN that about 2,200 people have e-mailed Rock the Vote to report their names missing from registration rolls. More than 2.5 million people downloaded registration forms from the group's Web site, she said.

But election officials said they are capable of processing the record number of new registrations filed this year, and no backlog exists.

"They are going to have to give us names because at this point, it's a lot of rhetoric," said Valerie Vasquez Rivera, a spokeswoman of the New York city Board of Elections. "Having the resources to process the record volume of forms is not a concern of ours."

Rivera said the agency's staff is working 12-hour shifts to make sure every valid registration is handled and the election "goes off without a hitch."

"Anyone whose voter registration form was postmarked by October 10th and was received by October 15th at either the state Board office or a local Board office is eligible to vote in the November 4, 2008, general election and will be in the books," she said.

About 235,000 voter registration forms were received by the Board of Elections in all of 2007, according to a Board of Elections statement. In contrast, board offices received a record 204,000 in just the two weeks leading up to the October 15 deadline.

Filed under: New York • Voter Problems
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