NEW YORK — It's primary day in New York and voters have the opportunity to put a convicted criminal and other less than savory characters in office. Assaulting a girlfriend? Money laundering? Beating a child with a belt? Doing time? Check, check, check and check. And it's all perfectly legal.
Voters in Washington Heights — the polling site along Wadsworth Avenue and 182nd Street — were shocked by the revelations. Richie Garcia said, "It's not right. Criminals shouldn't be able to run for office."
But Hiram Monserrate, the former state senator who did two years for money laundering, is on the ballot again in Queens. Even his conviction for slashing his former girlfriend's face with a glass wasn't enough to keep him from running.
Debbie Medina, running for state senator in Brooklyn, admitted in her son's murder trial she beat him for years with a belt when he was a child.
Voters admit they should know more about their candidates, but with so many on the primary ballot, it can be an overwhelming task.
Nicki Hierro was shocked to learn convicted criminals could again be on the ballot.
"I had no idea," she said while walking her son to school.
When we talked further about researching candidates before voting, she shrugged, saying there are often too many on the primary ballot to truly research ahead of time.
And while voter turnout is usually slim in these fall primaries, the outcome has historically paved the way to a candidate's election.