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Cornegy Addresses Concerns Over Fewer Polling Sites in Bed-Stuy

District Leader says moved sites may dissuade voters, particularly seniors

After a federal three-judge panel handed down the decision for the redrawn NY congressional district lines in March 2012, not only did it change the configuration of several congressional districts, it also reduced the number of electoral districts (EDs).

Consequently, this change reduced the number of polling sites across the state. In Bedford-Stuyvesant, the number of EDs dropped from 120 down to 90.

What that has meant is several hundred would-be voters may be heading out to their normal polling site to find it no longer there.

Letters went out two weeks ago to alert residents to this change. But is concerned that even with a letter, a large number of residents will remain unaware.

He fears the move will disenfranchise hundreds, maybe thousands, of Bed-Stuy voters, particularly the handicapped and elderly who may be challenged with having to travel further distances in order to vote.

“Whether it’s intentional or not, these sort of changes result in voter disenfranchisement,” said Cornegy. “Even in the best case scenario, you are going to lose some voters, with that much movement. The reason I’m pointing out the senior center, is because it’s a mass problem. But really people are screaming across the district.”

P.S. 308, for example, for years has accommodated the residents of the , located right across the street. For the primaries in September, the polling site at will be closed and collapsed into P.S. 57, four blocks away.

“Anytime there’s confusion this close to an election that’s inhibiting a group of people, in my mind it rings of voter suppression and all of those things protected under the Voting Rights Act,” Cornegy said. “We can nice it up, but you have to call it what it is.”

However, the collapsing of polling sites is not isolated to one group, nor one neighborhood nor one borough for that matter. The entire city will be dealing with the identical issue.

Valerie Vazquez, communications director at the Board of Elections, said a citywide information notice went out to every registered voter informing them of election dates, information on how to use the new voting system and a bold announcement on the letter about whether a voter’s polling site has changed.

“This year, we redesigned the letter in several languages: It says Your poll site may change. We say in bold lettering where their poll site is located in the ED,” Vazquez told Bed-Stuy Patch. “It’s a simple format designed for them to cut it out and put it in their wallet or keep on their refrigerator.

“As far as seniors and the handicap, they can call the BOE and express a concern, if they have one, and we will do what we can to accommodate them, whether that be changing their poll site to a closer location. Or if they’re home-bound, they can request an absentee ballot.”

Cornegy on Tuesday met with Mary Rose Sattie, deputy chief clerk at the BOE. He said, he explained to her about Quincy Senior Center and a few other locations where senior residents were concerned about being able to travel to the site.

Sattie agreed to move the site back to its original location in front of the Quincy Senior Center for the general election in November. But because BOE needs a 30-day notice for proposed poll site changes, the site of the primary election will remain at the newly assigned location.

In the meantime, Cornegy has made arrangements with Quincy Center to charter a bus for the seniors to the new polling site.

As a registered voter, have you received a notice in the mail about a new or changed polling site? And do you feel these changes amount to voter disenfranchisement and voter suppression?

If you have not received a mailed notice, you may go to the BOE’s website where there is a poll locator to drop in your address and find out your new site. Also, in September, the BOE plans to release a new free app that allows voters to get that same information right from their phones.

Or if you have questions or concerns about your current polling site, you can call 866-vote-nyc, to speak to a trained phone bank staff.

Joe Gonzalez August 17, 2012 at 02:35 PM
Mr. Cornegy I am not going to quit until YOU answer some questions; I posted on another thread yet todate you have failed the people by not answering tough questions. Please answer these matters below as a posted reply so folks will know where you stand on the issues of the day. One, should US Military be used to secure the US Borders against entry by trespassers and drug dealers? Two, should marijuana be legal? Three, should all illegal aliens pack their bags and leave the USA? Four, should the NYPD Police Commissioner's job be an elected Office? Five, should CB 3 Chair Henry Butler be fired for incompetence? Six, state who you support for Mayor, Comptroller, Public Advocate in 2013? Seven,state should NYCHA Chair John Rhea be fired for incompetence? Eight,state are you outraged that there are NO NYCHA residents on CB3--despite Bed-Stuy being the situs to 8 housing projects which is home to 35,000 people? Nine, state are you ready to debate District Leader candidate Al Wiltshire? True leadership MANDATES you answer the tough questions below as a posted reply or face the possibility voters will ignore you.
Fed Up August 18, 2012 at 05:18 PM
Mr. Cornegy give us all a break and get on top of your game. In case youy didn't know it's your job as the District Leader to ensure the polling locations and inspectors. You had time to havethe polling sites to stay at their locations but since you were out making sure you get in every picture in the Our Time Press you let the ball go and as a result voters are going to displaced and the only reason you are getting a bus for the residents of Quincy Street Seniors is to get their votes. I thought you were diffrent when you ran for City Council and then when you lost ran into the arms of the person you tried to unseat and now you are a puppet ona string going along with what you were trying to take over. You and side show with your cast of players like The Butler man who don't havea clue should take your show somewhere else.
Meadow Lane August 19, 2012 at 01:01 PM
The Romney-Ryan Plan: 1. Tax poor & working people but not the rich; 2. Encourage wages in the U.S. to fall to third world levels; 3. Pass trade laws that make it easy for companies to send jobs overseas; 4. Pass laws that enable only insurance companies to control who gets health care (including seniors) and who doesn't; 5. Replace public education with out of pocket private schools and home schooling; 6. Refuse to invest in crumbling public infrastructure such as highways, bridges, and sewer systems; 7. Environmental Policy: Pass laws and weaken regulations that enable companies to pollute the environment; 8. Pass laws that enable gas and oil production and prices to be controlled by a few large companies; Make sure that there is no longer any research or work on alternative energy sources; Keep defense spending high to protect non domestic oil production; 9. Repress rights for women and minorities and repress voting participation; 10. Divide the American people on cultural issues (religion, sexual orientation, gun rights, etc); 11. Instill fear in the American public through manufactured crises and created "boogeymen". Then attack political opponents by claiming to be more "patriotic" and the better keeper of "American Values" than they. 12. Make it impossible for literally millions of ELIGIBLE voters to cast their ballots, which is flagrant vote tampering and corruption. Can YOU afford to vote for these guys? I can't. I'm a working mother.
Joe Gonzalez August 21, 2012 at 03:51 PM
Its time for everyone to turn up the heat on District Leader Robert Cornegy.
Stuy_Rooted August 22, 2012 at 07:31 PM
It seems the only thing Mr. Cornegy is the leader of is the disenfranchisement. You have let the people of the 56th A.D. down. Disenfranchisement Leader Robert Cornegy it is depressing to see you that you have put your own personal ambitions before the people.

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