Tuesday, October 11, 2016
The Manhattan Democratic representative on the city’s Board of Elections was caught on a secret video slamming Mayor Bill de Blasio’s municipal ID program as contributing to “all kinds of fraud” — including at the polls.
“He gave out ID cards, de Blasio. That’s in lieu of a driver’s license, but you can use it for anything,” Commissioner Alan Schulkin said in the undercover video recorded by a muckraker for conservative nonprofit Project Veritas.
“But they didn’t vet people to see who they really are. Anybody can go in there and say, ‘I am Joe Smith, I want an ID card,’ ” he said in the bombshell tape.
“It’s absurd. There is a lot of fraud. Not just voter fraud, all kinds of fraud . . . This is why I get more conservative as I get older.”
Schulkin didn’t hold back to the undercover journalist, who identified herself as a political consultant at a United Federation of Teachers holiday party on Dec. 16.
Not realizing he was being recorded, he broke with his own party’s position that voter ID requirements hurt the poor and minorities.
Schulkin said he backed the IDs to prevent rampant fraud.
“The law says you can’t ask for anything. Which they really should be able to do,” Schulkin said, according to a copy of the video and transcript provided to The Post.
“I believe they should be able to do it,” he added.
The videographer asked point-blank, “You think they should have voter ID in New York?”
Schulkin responded, “Voters? Yeah, they should ask for your ID. I think there is a lot of voter fraud.”
Conservatives claim ID checks help curb voter fraud.
Liberal and civil rights groups argue such rules discourage voting and discriminate against minorities and the poor.
“You know, I don’t think it’s too much to ask somebody to show some kind of an ID . . . You go into a building, you have to show them your ID,” Schulkin said.
While discussing the potential for fraud, Schulkin volunteered that in some parts of the city, “they bus people around to vote . . . They put them in a bus and go poll site to poll site.”
Asked which neighborhoods, Schulkin said, “I don’t want to say.”
When the undercover mentions black and Hispanic neighborhoods, Schulkin responded, “Yeah . . . and Chinese, too.”
At another point in the conversation, he discussed potential absentee ballot fraud.
“Oh, there’s thousands of absentee ballots . . . I don’t know where they came from,” he said.
The undercover offered that “people can cover their faces” to shield their identity when voting, which triggered a conversation about burqas.
“The Muslims can do that, too. You don’t know who they are,” Schulkin said.
“I mean, I know everything is done with good intentions, but a lot of bad results.”
Reached Monday night, Schulkin defended his videotaped remarks, with slight revisions.
“I should have said ‘potential fraud’ instead of ‘fraud,’ ” he said.
But he reiterated his support for a voter ID requirement.
He recalled a woman asking him a lot of questions the night he was recorded.
“She was like a nuisance. I was just trying to placate her,” he said.
The board has two commissioners — one Democrat, one Republican — from each borough.