“Name withheld” writes that Blackstone doesn’t have an obligation to provide polling sites. This is incorrect.
In 1946, a vibrant neighborhood with streets, schools and polling places was seized under eminent domain and turned over to Metropolitan Life, and became Stuyvesant Town.
In return, Met Life promised to maintain municipal streets, remove garbage, and provide places for citizens to vote. The Tenants Association needs to stand up to our property owner to ensure that Blackstone honors these obligations. Bring back the polling sites!
Although I am disappointed that some voters will have to cross 14th Street to vote, we must remember that Stuyvesant Town management is not at all obligated to provide space for voting. Voting is a right but one that a landlord is not required to facilitate. Should the government seek to compel management to provide the space, the Fifth Amendment would require that “just compensation be provided.”
Rachel Bloom from Citizens United Foundation (right) on voting rights at the town hall
By Maria Rocha-Buschel
Assembly Member Harvey Epstein hosted a town hall at the New York University Dental School on East 24th Street last Thursday, attended by more than 100 people braving last week’s arctic deep freeze.
Instead of a single-room free-for-all, the event was broken up into two separate hour-long panels with three different topics that residents could learn more about during each panel. Epstein said that the approach intended to give attendees one-on-one time with experts on a number of different topics, which included voting rights, education and legalization of marijuana during the first panel and transportation, housing and disability rights during the second.
Alex Camarda from Reinvent Albany and Rachel Bloom from Citizens Union Foundation discussed voting rights and good government during the first panel, answering questions about legislative issues such as closing the LLC Loophole, in addition to addressing difficulties that residents had while voting in the last election.
“I’ve lived in Stuyvesant Town for many years and I had so much trouble voting in the last election,” Adrienne Cosner said. “There’s been a lot of irregularity.”
Re: Letter, “State elections can impact this area,” T&V, Nov. 1
To the Editor,
The Hon. Ms. Dankberg opens her letter encouraging people to vote. As district leader, she correctly asks them to bring friends. But she contradicts herself when she signs off, thanking them in advance for doing their civic duty.
Voting is not one’s civic duty. It is a right and a privilege in our nation. What is a civic obligation, however, is jury duty. If one doesn’t vote, that’s their business. But if one skips jury duty, one could have problems.
A line snakes out of a Stuyvesant Town polling place, with turnout being similar to presidential election years. (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)
By Maria Rocha-Buschel
Local politicians were easily re-elected on Tuesday, with none of the state and federal candidates facing any serious challengers in this year’s midterms.
State Senator Brad Hoylman had the easiest path to victory, not having to face any challenger at all, although many of his fellow Democrats vying to flip seats in the State Senate had much closer races. But enough were successful in their campaigns that Democrats were able to regain a majority for only the third time in the last 50 years.
Some Senate races had still not been called as of Wednesday afternoon but by Tuesday night, at least 32 Senate Democrats had won their races, and Republicans won 21 seats. The win means that Democrats control the State Senate and Assembly as well as the offices of the governor, comptroller and attorney general.
November 6th is Election Day. Please vote and bring a friend or neighbor with you. The ballot will be two pages and you, the voter, will need to separate the pages at the perforations before having your vote scanned. The first page will contain the candidates for Public Office – Statewide and NYS candidates. The back of page one will contain the three ballot proposals. The second page will contain the Judicial candidates. Election staff will be able to assist if you incur any problems.
For those of you who will be voting for Democratic/Working Families Party candidates, it is urgent for Democrats that you vote on the Democratic Line. The Democratic results in a Gubernatorial election determine how many Election Districts there are for County Committee and how many Delegates will represent each Assembly District at the Supreme Court Judicial Convention. It may not mean much to you, but to those of us involved in local politics, these positions are very important. Thanks for doing your civic duty.
Democratic District Leader, 74th A.D. Part C
Samuel J. Tilden Democratic Club
With the General Election just days away, Council Member Dan Garodnick is calling on the Board of Elections to post signs at old poll sites that have been moved — as is a matter of city law.
The legislation in fact was authored by Garodnick and, after being signed by the mayor last year, went into effect in January. However during September’s primary, the first local election since then, it was clear that the new regulation wasn’t being followed, Garodnick said.
While he doesn’t remember how many complaints his office got, the lack of notice was stranding voters around the district. Making matters worse, some poll sites had been moved far from the original site, in one case a half mile away from the prior site.
On Tuesday, a polling place at 360 First Avenue had a line spilling down the block. Many voters who spoke with T&V said they were supporting Hillary Clinton and local Democratic elected officials easily won reelection. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)
By Maria Rocha-Buschel
Voter turnout was high at polling places throughout Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village in this historic presidential election, with some residents saying that crowds seemed to surpass even those from 2008. Although some sites throughout the city reported broken scanners, voters at the ST/PCV polling places T&V visited on Tuesday morning said that the worst problems they faced were long lines, and many said that it wasn’t a burden to wait.
“I feel like it’s my moral duty to vote,” said Peter Cooper Village resident Max Hague, noting that he cast his vote for Hillary Clinton. “I voted because I don’t want to live in a fascist country.”
Helpful signs like the ones pictured above were nowhere to be found on Tuesday.
By Sabina Mollot
On Tuesday, Primary Day, there was no polling in the 74th Assembly District, due to no uncontested races. However, voters in the district, which includes Stuyvesant Town and Kips Bay, weren’t given notice of this, leading some to venture out to do their civic duty and be counted as they would do any other voting day.
“Just walked to polling place at 283 Avenue C only to discover nothing going on and definitely no signs,” one annoyed reader told Town & Village in an email on Tuesday. “Went to security to be informed that the Board of Elections notified them at about noon that since no one was running in our district they would save money and not open. Save money great… but what else do they have to do but inform voters?”
Bill by Garodnick would mean signs get posted at former poll site buildings
By Maria Rocha-Buschel
Community Board 6’s budget and governmental affairs committee will be discussing legislation regarding signage for former poll sites at its upcoming meeting next Monday. The timing of the meeting is somewhat serendipitous considering the presidential primary election that will take place the following Tuesday on April 19, but City Council Member Dan Garodnick, the prime sponsor of the legislation, said that this is a coincidence since the legislation was proposed back in 2014.
The upcoming committee meeting will be the first time that the community board is addressing the legislation. Garodnick noted that the issue may have pinged on their radar because there was a City Council hearing on legislation on February 29.
Signs at a Stuyvesant Town polling place in a prior election year
By Sabina Mollot
On Primary Day, which this year was on September 10, voters living in the 74th Assembly District were left without a chance to vote — not that anyone bothered to tell them this.
A primary wasn’t held in the district due to a lack of contested races, a spokesperson for the Board of Elections told Town & Village, but with no warnings about a cancellation, some die-hards still went out to cast their votes. One voter, Stuyvesant Town resident Susan Schoenbaum, told Town & Village she ended up wandering through much of the complex — after seeing that her assigned polling site, 10 Stuyvesant Oval, was closed with no sign of activity. The usual white and blue “Vote Here” signs in English and Spanish that get placed near polling sites on election days were also nowhere to be found.
Schoenbaum said she had not received anything in the mail about a polling site change, and an online check later of where her polling site should have been, on the city Board of Elections website, also showed it as being 10 Oval.
After walking around a while, and asking contractors on site in a golf cart if they knew where she could vote — they didn’t — Schoenbaum popped into the Public Safety office. There, an employee told her the department had received word the primary had been postponed until November.