Oct. 30, 2020 By Allie Griffin
State Sen. Michael Gianaris, who represents western Queens, introduced legislation today to almost double the number of early voting sites in the state.
The bill comes after an analysis of early voting sites in New York City found the number of registered voters assigned to an early voting site varied greatly across the boroughs — with little regard to the capacity of each poll site.
Some early voting sites have upwards of 100,000 voters assigned to them, while others have just 10,000 or fewer, according to the New York City Campaign Finance Board (NYCCFB) analysis.
On average, 55,130 registered voters are assigned to a site citywide, the analysis found.
Thanks to dedicated poll site workers + voters alike for making it work with what’s been given.
— Queens Borough President Sharon Lee (@QueensBP2020) October 27, 2020
Gianaris’ bill would slash than number by more than half. It would require every county in the state to have one poll site per 25,000 registered voters — thus increasing the number of early voting poll sites in New York City from 88 sites to 208.
“Boards of Elections failed to adequately provide enough Early Voting opportunities this year,” Gianaris said in a statement. “All over the state, people have been waiting several hours to vote, which is not what our democracy should look like.”
The Senate Deputy Leader himself witnessed the long lines at early voting sites.
He said he waited at least two hours to vote at the Museum of the Moving Image (MOMI) in Astoria on Tuesday, despite the fact that the museum had fewer Queens voters assigned to it than the majority of early voting sites in the borough.
MOMI had the third lowest number of voters assigned to it among Queens early voting sites, at 48,495 people, according to the NYCCFB analysis.
The average number of registered voters assigned to each early voting site was the highest in Queens and beats the citywide average. The number comes in at 68,395 voters per site in the borough.
Gianaris’ bill would drastically increase the number of Queens early voting sites from 18 to 48 sites.
— Sen. Mike Gianaris (@SenGianaris) October 24, 2020
The NYC Board of Elections (BOE) has been greatly criticized by elected officials and every day New Yorkers alike for the hours-long waits during early voting, which runs through Sunday.
As of Thursday, 702,408 New Yorkers have cast their ballots during early voting — including 150,283 Queens voters.
The BOE extended the hours of its early-voting poll sites for this weekend in an effort to ease the lines.
However, Gianaris said that effort isn’t enough.
“The current structure of our Boards of Elections has failed to fulfill its primary mission of facilitating voting,” he said in a statement. “Drastic reform is necessary.”
The Queens early voting sites are listed below, ordered from the highest number of voters assigned to the site to the lowest.
|Early Voting Poll Site Name||Poll Site Address||Assigned Reg. Voters|
|Helen Marshall Cultural Center at Queens Borough Hall||120-55 Queens Boulevard||98,012|
|Resorts World Casino New York City||110-00 Rockaway Boulevard||97,677|
|Rochdale Village Community Center||169-65 137 Avenue||96,194|
|York College, Academic Core Building||94-20 Guy R Brewer Boulevard||82,404|
|Creedmoor Hospital||79-25 Winchester Boulevard||82,038|
|Korean Community Services||203-05 32 Avenue||81,104|
|Board of Elections – Queens Voting Machine Facility Annex||66-26 Metropolitan Ave||79,226|
|The Boys’ Club of New York – Abbe Clubhouse||133-01 41 Road||69,341|
|Queens College, City University of New York||65-30 Kissena Boulevard||66,734|
|Queens Public Library at Jackson Heights||35-51 81 Street||65,678|
|LaGuardia Community College||31-10 Thomson Avenue||63,985|
|Rockaway YMCA||207 Beach 73 Street||63,520|
|Rego Center Community Room||61-00 97 Street||58,286|
|Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens||21-12 30 Road||52,474|
|Queensborough Elks Lodge No. 878||82-20 Queens Boulevard||50,869|
|Museum of the Moving Image||36-01 35 Avenue||48,495|
|Holy Trinity Parish Church||222-05 116 Avenue||44,483|
|First Baptist Church Of East Elmhurst||100-10 Astoria Boulevard||30,589|