As a non-partisan organization that strives to empower Dominican-American voters to exercise their civic duty to vote and participate in our country’s political process, Dominicanos USA is deeply troubled by the New York Board of Elections’ last minute decision to change multiple polling locations in upper Manhattan. We are told that those decisions were made to enhance handicap accessibility, but we are not aware of any significant and effective effort to inform the community of these substantial changes. More importantly, we would like to underscore the fact that these changes will impact as many as 51,000 eligible voters, over 50% of whom are Dominican-American and Latino. The number of people affected by these changes is both staggering and disheartening given the disproportionality with which they are affecting our community.
Central to our mission at Dominicanos USA is the importance of transparency in all elections, yet the Board of Election’s decision greatly undermines this principle. Dominicanos USA therefore urges the New York Board of Elections to rectify this oversight promptly. Furthermore, the Board needs to tell voters now what is being done to inform the public of these changes and what will be done if voter turnout is hindered in any way or is significantly lowered as a result of these changes. Dominicanos USA will do everything in its power to inform the Dominican-American community of these sudden changes and to ultimately protect their right to vote. We would remind the Board of Elections that it is their responsibility to do the same.