Sections

Claims of voter suppression at LeFrak City one month before primary

Bertha Lewis of the Black Leadership Action Coalition urges the city Board of Elections to restore the voting station at LeFrak City.
TimesLedger Newspapers
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like TimesLedger on Facebook.

The Black Leadership Action Coalition rallied outside the New York City Board of Elections Tuesday demanding restoration of voting sites at LeFrak City, contending the relocation of the polls is an act of voter suppression.

The voting booths had been removed because of complaints starting in 2008 that they were not in compliance with the American Disabilities Act, but were only recently relocated, giving little notice to LeFrak City residents who have been using the booths for more than 50 years.

“It is the duty of the Board of Elections to inform tenants of this move and grant the opportunity to make the locations more accessible, but they made no effort to do any such thing, and asked for zero input from the community,” Black Leadership Action Coalition Founder and President Bertha Lewis said. “With the primary in one month, this relocation is far too short of notice for residents. If this was such a big issue, why weren’t they moved last year or back in 2008 when the issues were first identified? This is just a political tactic designed to disenfranchise low-income people and people of color from the right to vote. This type of voter suppression is something we normally associate with the South and ultra-conservative politics, so you would think that in a city as diverse as ours, you would not see such an outrageous abuse of power.”

The LeFrak City complex houses nearly 25,000 resident and is considered to be partial to Hiram Monserrate in his City Council race with Assemblyman Francisco Moya (D-East Elmhurst) for the East Elmhurst seat. Lewis has endorsed Monserrate.

The Board of Elections did not respond to a request for comment by press time.

“The relocation of polling sites should never happen without getting input from residents of the affected community -- and without letting them be involved in every aspect of the decision making process,” District Leader Geoffrey Davis said. “Doing anything less than that is de facto disenfranchisement.

Lewis called for alternatives to the relocation of the voting booths a half mile away. She suggested several fixes to make the sites ADA compliant, including increased voting sites within LeFrak City to reduce the number of people at each site and a change in the wheelchair ramps.

“Instead of using the disabled as a cover for their political game, we at BLAC, along with other community groups, are willing to work with the New York City Board of Elections to find a way to keep the District 21 polling site within LeFrak City for the upcoming election and to develop a permanent solution to the problem. This does not just affect one election or one party. Everyone should be concerned about such an outrageous and blatant attempt at voter suppression.”

Lewis also called for a joint investigation by the state Board of Elections and the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparry@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4538.

Posted 12:00 am, August 10, 2017
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like TimesLedger on Facebook.

Reader feedback

blahblah from queens says:
Who wouldda thought, crime-saturated Lefrak City. Probably claiming this to bring attention to the fast-emptying apartments for rent.
Aug. 10, 2017, 1:58 am
Flip from Elmhurst says:
We all have to do it. These dopes can go to downtown NYC & protest and scream but they cant make the trip 3 blocks away from where they live??? Boohoo poor babies. So used to having everyone bend over backwards for them and cater to every single demand. They are so lazy. And lots of old people that live in single family homes have the same issues getting to the polls yet they dont cry and scream and demand a poll be put on thier front lawn do they? This is why white people laugh in the faces of these liars who cry wolf over fake claims of voter suppression. The definintion from these people is "Voter suppression exisits because we have to walk 3 blocks to vote!!" nah.... you a bunch of lazy scam artist liars.
Aug. 10, 2017, 7:23 am
Hector says:
Earn cash in Emini S&P Trading the easiest way and learning the correct strategies of how it is. Google Emini S&P Trading Secret to learn how.
Aug. 10, 2017, 9:37 pm

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not TimesLedger.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to TimesLedger.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

Classifieds

Do you know an immigrant in Queens who has made an impact on the community? Nominate a person who has made a difference for the 2018 Queens Ambassador Awards.
Community News Group

Don’t miss out!

Stay in touch with the stories people are talking about in your neighborhood:

Optional: Help us tailor our newsletters to you!