Four years ago, for the United States Presidential Election, voter turnout was higher than usual across most of the country. This year, Americans are once again gearing up to go to the polls on November 6 to choose our president. Here in New York City, we must do our part to ensure that the election runs as smoothly as possible for every voter.
Following the decennial redistricting that the United States Constitution mandates, the New York City Board of Elections reconfigured all Election Districts. While the newly enlarged Election Districts may result in administrative savings, they are turning out to be a headache for some voters.
As a result of the new Election Districts, many voters will have to go to different poll sites this year. Before the September Primary Election, the Board of Elections sent out notices to voters whose poll sites were changed. Unfortunately, some voters did not see or did not take note of the mailers that went out.
Those who did learned that after years of voting at the same location, they will now have to go to different places to vote. Come November, confusion about where to vote will present an unnecessary obstacle for many citizens.
I am urging the following to help curb the Election Day chaos. First, the Board of Elections must put into place an extensive outreach effort to let voters know how to confirm that they are registered and find out where to vote.
Second, every voter should take the responsibility to make sure that he or she is registered and knows where to vote on Election Day, as there is a good chance that the poll site has changed. Log onto vote.nyc.ny.us or call (866) VOTE-NYC.
In our representative democracy, the vote is precious. Let’s do what is necessary now to make sure that New Yorkers can exercise their right to vote in November.
Councilman Mark Weprin