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De Blasio Gives BOE Over 200 Potential Early Voting Sites, Demands Expansion

Dashed Arrow Scott Heins / Gothamist

The de Blasio administration believes the number of early voting sites recently approved by the city Board of Elections is far too limited, and is calling for a major expansion. In a letter to the New York City Board of Elections on Friday, the city’s Chief Democracy Officer argued the 38 sites approved by the Board are “inadequate to accommodate the needs of the City’s more than five million registered voters.”

Instead, City Hall offered the Board 222 locations it said were accessible and willing to host early voting starting this November. The sites lean heavily on public partners like the Department of Education, NYCHA, along with several public libraries.

Mayor de Blasio's recommended locations, mapped:


Under the NYC BOE’s initial list, there were 21 City Council districts without an early voting site. Between the Board’s list and City Hall’s latest proposal, all of them would be covered.

Here are the Board of Elections' recommended locations, mapped:


“We ask that the Board review the attached working list of facilities and survey as many of these sites as necessary to identify at least 100 suitable early voting locations in New York City,” wrote Ayirini Fonseca-Sabune, the city’s Chief Democracy Officer, in a letter to election officials.

In his weekly appearance on the Brian Lehrer Show, Mayor Bill de Blasio said his administration gave the NYC BOE all the tools they needed.

“They can't say they don't have the money because we put the money in our budget,” de Blasio said. “They can't say they don't know where the poll sites are that would work for this because we just sent them a list of over 200 options. So it has to be a matter of will.”

A spokeswoman for the NYC BOE declined to comment. The next weekly commissioners meeting will be on Tuesday, and the deadline to determine state grant funding for early voting is May 29th.

Here are all of the proposed locations, mapped together:


Brigid Bergin is the City Hall and politics reporter for WNYC. You can follow her on Twitter at @brigidbergin.

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