NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – Community leaders in the Bronx are hoping an early voting site this year will make it easier for residents to cast their ballots after long lines during the primaries turned some people away from the polls.
If the June primaries were any test of how it might play out in November, community leaders in Parkchester said election officials failed to make in-person voting as easy as possible.
“On Election Day, nearly every poll site in this community had lines that lasted longer than an hour,” said Democratic Assemblymember Karines Reyes on Sunday.
Lines stretched maybe a mile long in some places in June. Some people decided it wasn’t worth it and didn’t even vote. Reyes said it was because there was no early voting site and called it voter suppression.
She asked the Board of Elections to create an early voting site in the neighborhood, allowing people to vote in the week leading up to the election.
“The last two elections where early voting was an option, our early poll site was over a mile away—and that’s two bus rides,” Reyes said.
She said a Republican BOE commissioner refused to approve the idea at first. But now local leaders say it will happen in November.
Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said Sunday that it shouldn’t have had to get this far.
“That’s great and encouraging news, but it’s not done until that ink is dry on paper,” she said.
Ocasio-Cortez said the fact there wasn’t an early voting site before is no accident.
“It’s an express stop on the 6 train. It’s a retail hub. Tens of thousands of people live in an extremely concentrated place, and yet there was not an early voting site already here,” she said.