AG James, Voting Rights Groups Kickoff Early Voting in the Bronx
NEW YORK, NY (10/24/2020) (readMedia)-- On the first day of early voting in New York, Attorney General Letitia James, Common Cause/NY, College ?& Community Fellowship?, and Generation Vote rallied together to get out the early vote, empower historically disenfranchised communities and inform voters about the statewide election protection program already underway. Over 400 volunteers will serve as either virtual poll monitors or roving poll monitors to assist voters with urgent questions, protect voting rights, and make sure poll sites are taking adequate safety protections.
Press interested in trailing a rover during early voting or election day, please contact Becky Stern at firstname.lastname@example.org or 516 581 5707.
For the first time in a presidential election, New York voters can cast their ballot starting today until November 1st. Voters must vote at their assigned poll site, which they can find here. Voters can request their absentee ballot now until October 27 and postmark it by November 3rd, as well as vote in person election day.
"COVID-19 has altered our way of life, but one thing has not changed: safe and secure elections. Just like the primary, we will have hundreds of people on the road and on line helping voters make sure they can cast their ballot correctly, report illegal activity, or just answer nonpartisan questions. We also encourage every voter to skip the crowd and cast their ballot early!" said Susan Lerner, Executive Director of Common Cause/NY and co-founder of Let NY Vote.
"The right to vote is a cornerstone of our democracy. When our civil rights are threatened, one of our most powerful assets is our ability to vote and we must all do our part to ensure safe and fair elections for all New Yorkers. We must not let the pandemic, voter suppressors, fear or anything else get in the way of making our voices heard through the ballot box. I look forward to standing beside Common Cause during a time and an election in which the stakes are so high," said Attorney General Letitia James.
Ranging from access to education to civic engagement, College & Community Fellowship empowers those with criminal justice involvement to dismantle the carceral system and uplift their own communities through tools of liberation. In 2020, they launched Justice Votes NY - a peer-based campaign to promote self efficacy and confidence in exercising the right to vote among justice-involved people.
"With over 70 million people nationwide who have criminal convictions, our voices must be heard. We, who are disproportionately Black and Brown, have been excluded from the political process and ignored for far too long. That ends today. We speak for ourselves. We speak for our communities. We are a voting block that demands to be reckoned with." said Vivian Nixon, Executive Director of College & Community Fellowship
The election protection program is a redux of 2016. This year, because of COVID-19, additional volunteers will be digital, on bikes, or in cars. Digital poll monitors will be searching social media platforms including Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to assist voters in real time. Roving poll monitors will be assigned several poll locations to check-on during their shifts.
The effort is a redux of Common Cause/NY's 2016 Election Protection program. This year, because of COVID-19, additional volunteers will be digital, on bikes, or in cars. Digital poll monitors will be searching social media platforms including Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to assist voters in real time. Roving poll monitors will be assigned several poll locations to check-on during their shifts.
"With misinformation, fears around COVID, confusion around polling locations and more, young people are needed now more than ever. We need to protect our elders, our neighbors and the future of our communities by stepping up to protect our vote in the most consequential election of our lives. In the last midterm election, I waited on a 2 hour line to vote and saw firsthand the importance of election protection in my Brooklyn neighborhood. This year, we need to make sure every New York voter has the opportunity to make their voices heard without unnecessary barriers to the ballot box," said Bri Cea, CEO/Founder, Generation Vote and LNYV Youth Working Group Co-Chair.
Common Cause/NY has hosted 17 remote trainings for volunteers across the state. Poll monitors are responsible for ensuring voters are properly guided on voting protocol, reporting results, and troubleshooting any problems that may arise at the poll site. Volunteers will work statewide, and focus on areas in New York City, Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Rockland, Onondaga, Clinton, Jefferson, Erie, Dutchess, Columbia, Cortland, Oneida, and Broome. Voters are encouraged to report any misconduct to 886-OUR-VOTE, a national election protection hotline.