Common Cause/NY Launches Statewide Nonpartisan Election Protection Program

Over 100 New Yorkers will monitor poll sites via social media + from cars + bikes, teaming up w/Transportation Alternatives

NEW YORK, NY (06/19/2020) (readMedia)-- As voters gear up to either vote in person early or on Election Day, or mail in their absentee ballots, Common Cause/NY will launch a statewide nonpartisan election protection program this Saturday. Over 100 volunteers will serve as either virtual poll monitors or roving poll monitors to assist voters with urgent questions and ensure poll sites are taking adequate safety protections. Early voting started last Saturday, June 13th, and runs until June 21st. Election Day is June 23rd. Absentee ballots must be postmarked by June 23rd.

Press interested in trailing a rover, please contact Becky Stern at or 516 581 5707.

For the 2016 presidential election, Common Cause/NY deployed over 400 volunteers helping voters throughout the city. This year, because of COVID-19, most volunteers will be remote, on bikes, or in cars. Virtual 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-in on during their shifts.

"COVID-19 has altered the way New Yorkers are voting this primary season, but one thing has not changed: safe and secure elections. Voters will have questions and our volunteers are ready to help both on the road and online. Democracy doesn't pause for anything," said Susan Lerner, Executive Director of Common Cause/NY.

Common Cause/NY has hosted four 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 monitors focus on areas in New York City, Erie, Suffolk, Nassau, Albany and Dutchess County. Voters are encouraged to report any misconduct to 886-OUR-VOTE, a national election protection hotline.

Common Cause/NY has paired up with Transportation Alternatives for dozens of bike rovers.

"Transportation Alternatives is proud to partner with Common Cause/NY to help voters and ensure our elections run smoothly," said Transportation Alternatives Executive Director Danny Harris. "We may be in the midst of a pandemic, but that won't stop us from having free, fair, and properly physically-distanced elections."