Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have achieved convincing wins in New York's party primaries as the bruising campaign continues. State officials responded to thousands of complaints from people turned away from polls.
The apparent victories for Trump in the Republican race and Clinton for the Democrats in one of the biggest state nominating contests blunts the momentum for their challengers as the two look ahead to contests in other Northeastern states.
Billionaire real estate mogul Trump had about 60 percent of the vote with about 75 percent counted, easily beating rivals Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Ohio Governor John Kasich and putting him in position to possibly win most or all of the state's 95 delegates.
"We don't have much of a race anymore based on what I'm seeing on television," Trump told cheering supporters at a victory party at his Trump Tower in Manhattan. "We are really, really rocking."
Trump's win in New York pushes him closer to capturing the 1,237 delegates needed to win the Republican Party nomination
But Trump's path to the nomination is far from clear. That's because he remains unpopular with the Republican Party leaders and activists who serve as delegates at the summer nominating convention.
Meanwhile, Clinton who once represented New York in the US Senate, managed to blunt the momentum of rival Bernie Sanders and took a big step toward wrapping up the Democratic nomination. Early returns showed the former first lady garnering more than 57 percent of the vote.
"The race for the nomination is in the home stretch, and victory is in sight," Clinton declared to cheering supporters.
But Sanders is far from ready to concede and vowed to fight on all the way to the party convention in July. "We've got a shot to victory," Sanders told The Associated Press. "We have come a very long way in the last 11 months, and we are going to fight this out until the end of the process."
Voting in New York was marred by irregularities, including more than 125,000 people missing from New York City voter rolls
Complaints over polling problems
The voting in New York was marred by claims of irregularities with the state's attorney general reporting hundreds of complaints logged on a statewide voter hotline as well as reports of thousands of people being scrubbed from voter rolls.
New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer ordered an audit of the city elections board after it confirmed the names had been removed from voter rolls. He told the board in a letter it was "consistently disorganized, chaotic and inefficient."
Sanders supporters took to Twitter to claim election shenanigans, vowing to challenge irregularities in court.
"It is absurd that in Brooklyn, New York, where I was born actually, tens of thousands of people as I understand it have been purged from the voting rolls," Sanders told supporters at a rally in State College, Pennsylvania.
New York has some of the most restrictive voter registration laws. Only 5.8 million Democrats and 2.7 million Republicans who registered by last October - four months before the nation's first contest in the US state of Iowa - were eligible to vote in New York's primary.
The fight for New York's delegate haul consumed the presidential contenders for two weeks.
Candidates traveled to urban and rural communities in New York, bidding for votes from Manhattan and the surrounding boroughs to Rust Belt cities and rural enclaves that dot the rest of the state.
jar/se (AP, Reuters)