102708rockvotehead.jpgOver the weekend Rock the Vote was accused by the New York Times of botching the registration of possibly 40,000 would-be New York voters. According to the article, the online registration forms for New Yorkers on Rock the Vote's website are addressed to the New York State Board of Elections, which does not handle voter registrations. As a result, the Board of Elections has had to redirect over 100,000 forms to the county election boards, and now there's a huge backlog. Today Rock the Vote is firing back at the Times, declaring in a statement that "they got the story dead wrong":

Twice in writing the Board of Elections confirmed that Rock the Vote gives registrants the correct mailing address. See the emails here. And today, the EAC again confirmed that our system is "current and correct."...A modest journalistic effort would have revealed what Rock The Vote has been warning for some time: elections officials nationwide are not prepared to process the enormous number of new voter registrations that have been submitted in this election cycle.

But Robert Brehm, a spokesman for the state board, tells City Room, "It would have been faster for those organizations to direct people to mail them to their counties." A spokeswoman for the city's Board of Elections says they received almost 211,000 registrations in the last week of registration—not exclusively via Rock the Vote—and many of them cannot be processed because they miss crucial information. (Some states permit same-day registration and voting, but not the Empire State.)

Rock the Vote organizers say they will be working with attorneys, election experts, and the Board of Elections to make sure every single eligible person who mailed a registration application to the NYS Board of Elections is properly registered and able to vote. A message on the group's blog declares, "Together we can fix this. Together we can call out the real culprits." You can check to see if you're on an online voter list in New York State here, but just because you're name isn't on the online list, does not mean you aren't registered. If your name isn't online, follow up with your county election board.
Photo of Buckethead and others courtesy Rock the Vote's Flickr.