Bayside, NY Today, at Korean Community Services (KCS) Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D,WF-Fresh Meadows) and Assemblyman Edward Braunstein (D-Bayside) alerted Queens residents about their first chance to vote early for this years general election starting Saturday, October 26th. Earlier this year, KCS was designated an early voting poll site following Rozic and Braunsteins advocacy along with other Queens lawmakers urging the NYC Board of Elections (BOE) to include a site in Northeast Queens.
Assemblywoman Rozic said, For the first time, New Yorkers have the opportunity to head to the polls early this year, due to historic voting reforms passed by the State Legislature. For far too long voting laws failed to accommodate the busy lives New Yorkers lead, creating barriers to participation. This new nine day early voting period provides voters with a more democratic process and greater opportunity to cast their ballots.
Assemblyman Braunstein said, I am proud to have supported historic changes to our election laws, including early voting, to make it as easy as possible for New Yorkers to exercise their constitutional right to vote. The BOEs decision to add early voting sites at KCS and the Cross Island YMCA will provide Northeast Queens residents a convenient way to vote that works with their schedule.
U.S. Rep. Grace Meng said, Early voting was implemented to strengthen the democratic process, and to make voting easier and more accessible to New Yorkers, and Im pleased that residents of Northeast Queens will have the opportunity to take advantage of it. Im proud to have joined my government colleagues in demanding an early voting site for the area, and pleased that KCS has been selected as the polling place. The organization does great work in our neighborhoods, and its facility is a convenient and accessible location. I look forward to this first year of early voting in our city and state, and hope that even more early voting spots in Northeast Queens will open in the future.
State Senator Liu said, The purpose of voting reforms, including early voting, is to make the democratic process for all citizens easier, and to bolster the public's trust and confidence in elections. People were disenfranchised by limiting voting to one day. Early voting and an extended number of days to vote will bring more people into the process. We appreciate the Board of Elections working with us to expand early voting opportunities in northeastern Queens and thank you to KCS and the Cross Island YMCA for hosting early voting sites in our community.
Council Member Paul Vallone said I encourage our New Yorkers to take advantage of early voting, which makes it easier for residents to be active participants in our democracy. Here in Northeast Queens, we fought for the KCS Headquarters to be one of the over 200 early voting sites in the state that will officially open on Saturday. With an accessible early voting location in the district, residents will no longer have to choose between casting a ballot and school, work or other commitments. I thank the New York State Legislature for leading the charge on this important change.
Linda Lee, Executive Director, KCS said, We are thrilled to have this opportunity to be an early voting site. Voting is an extremely important part of civic engagement, and this process will give more access to community members to participate and make their voices heard. We will continue to spread the word that early voting is now available in New York City and partner with our local government and community leaders to ensure maximum participation during the general election.
This year, the State Legislature passed measures to improve access to the polls by modernizing New Yorks voting system. The package of legislation included a bill to create a nine day early voting period for residents to vote in person prior to any primary, special or general election day. To offset the cost of additional poll hours, the 2019-2020 State Budget included $10 million to help counties implement the changes.
In May, the BOE released a list of 38 approved early voting poll sites that included only seven in Queens. Rozic and Braunstein were joined by their Queens colleagues in calling on the agency to add additional sites noting that the BOE overlooked a location in proximity to their constituents in Northeast Queens. Following their advocacy, Queens lawmakers announced that KCS would serve as an early voting poll site.
Early voting poll sites will be open starting Saturday, October 26th during the following hours:
Saturday, Oct. 26: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 27: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Monday, Oct. 28: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 29: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 30: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 31: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 1: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 2: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 3: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Rozic and Braunstein remind voters that they can participate during the early voting period which ends on Sunday, November 3rd. To identify your nearest site, visit https://vote.nyc/page/early-voting-information.