New York - Polling Site For Jews At A Church Prompts Hikind To Intervene
New York - Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) has intervened to prevent a polling site at St. Agatha’s Church. Residents living in the 73rd and 74th election districts recently received notification from the Brooklyn Board of Elections that their polling site was moved from the local public school to St. Agatha’s Church because of concerns that the public school could not physically accommodate all those wishing to cast a ballot. Many observant Jews live in the 73rd and 74th election districts. Hikind visited the site personally and noted that large crosses were present on both the interior and exterior of the building, as were other “related items you’d expect to find in a Catholic institution.”
As the primary for Civil Court Judge is scheduled for September 13, a new site could not be immediately identified. In the interim, Assemblyman Dov Hikind has obtained special ballots which will allow affected voters to cast their vote in-person at the Brooklyn Board of Elections by selecting the “Religious Scruples” box. Under Election Law Section 11-300, one may cast a special ballot if it is against one’s “religious scruples to vote at a polling place located in a premises used for religious purposes.”
“Who knows how many Orthodox Jewish or other voters would have been disenfranchised by the Board of Elections’ decision to move these voters to a church?” Hikind asked.
Hikind is working with the Board of Elections to find a more suitable location for the general election in November. The Board of Elections will mail updated polling site notices to affected voters once a new location is found.
To obtain a ballot, please visit the Office of Assemblyman Hikind or contact his office at 718.853.9616 to have one mailed to you. Special ballots must be cast in person at the Brooklyn Board of Elections no earlier than one week before the election, and not later than the close of polls on Primary Day.
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