AARP NY: Primary Elections Revealed Voting Problems in NYC, Disenfranchising Voters

Posted on 07/02/20 by Erik Kriss

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City Must Ensure Polling Places Safe, Voters Receive Absentee Ballots in Time to Make Voices Heard Without Risking Health in Future Elections

NEW YORK, N.Y. - AARP New York State Director Beth Finkel issued the following statement in response to voting-related problems experienced by New York City voters during the June 23rd primary elections:

“The COVID-19 pandemic created monumental challenges for the New York City Board of Elections (BOE) during this month’s primary elections, but too many problems arose, creating barriers to voting. The BOE must do better.

“Many processes and procedures did seem to have worked – early voting sites were open and running..

“But in the lead up to the elections, we heard from too many individuals that they did not receive the absentee ballot they had requested. This is especially problematic for our older residents – including those living in communities highly impacted by the coronavirus - who were and continue to be at increased risk of voting in person during a pandemic. We also heard residents of nursing home facilities did not receive absentee ballots in time, and they were prohibited from voting in person.

“And on the day of the elections, we heard too many reports of confusion at polling sites, with individuals not provided ballots for all the elections in their districts.

“There are already too many disparities across the city, with African American, Black, Hispanic/Latino and Asian Americans short changed on health care, housing, and more. Disparities in voting access is simply unacceptable.

“As we head toward November, we must ensure that absentee ballots arrive in a reliable and timely fashion, polling places function smoothly to avoid large backups and situations making social distancing difficult, and other measures that ensure voters can make their voices heard without risking their health.”

Contact: Erik Kriss, ekriss@aarp.org

Follow us on Twitter: @AARPNY and Facebook: AARP New York

AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering Americans 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With nearly 38 million members and offices in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AARP works to strengthen communities and advocate for what matters most to families with a focus on health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also works for individuals in the marketplace by sparking new solutions and allowing carefully chosen, high-quality products and services to carry the AARP name. As a trusted source for news and information, AARP produces the world’s largest circulation publications, AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.

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