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Publicize poll site changes

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Four years ago, in the U.S. 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 Nov. 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 U.S. Constitution mandates, the city Board of Elections reconfigured all election districts. While the newly enlarged districts may result in administrative savings, they are turning out to be a headache for some voters.

As a result of the new districts, many voters will have to go to different poll sites this year. Before the primary election in September, the BOE sent out notices to voters whose poll sites were changed. Unfortunately, some voters did not see or take note of the mailers.

Those who did learned that after years of voting at the same location, they will 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 BOE 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 his or her poll site has changed.

Log on to vote.nyc.ny.us or call 1-866-VOTE-NYC.

In our representative democracy, the vote is precious. Let’s do what is necessary to make sure New Yorkers can exercise their right to vote in November.

Mark Weprin

City Councilman

(D-Oakland Gardens)

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