Press Releases

As Voting Rights Come Under Assault Nationwide, New York Advances Bill to Remove Long-Standing Racist Barrier to Ballot Box

MAY 16, 2022

Anushka Sarkar, [email protected]

ALBANY, NY — Today, the New York State Senate passed SB284C, critical voting rights legislation that would strike down the so-called “wrong church” rule by allowing voters to cast their ballots at any polling site in their county of residence.

Stand Up America Executive Director Christina Harvey commented on the bill’s passage in the New York Senate:

“As several other states move to block voters from the ballot box, the New York State Legislature is making strides toward ensuring every New Yorker’s voice is heard. 

“Ending the ‘wrong church’ rule, which forces election officials to toss thousands of eligible voters’ ballots for the simple mistake of showing up at the wrong polling place, is long-overdue and necessary to make our elections more representative of the diversity of our state. 

“Now, the Assembly must act quickly to pass this critical legislation and put it on Governor Hochul’s desk before the end of the legislative session.”

Historically, enforcement of the “wrong church” rule—which discounts an otherwise eligible voter’s ballot if they vote at the wrong polling place—has disproportionately disenfranchised Black and brown voters. Election officials routinely void thousands of legitimate ballots cast by voters at poll sites other than the ones to which they were technically assigned for that election. In 2020, nearly 14,000 votes were disqualified across New York, mostly registered voters who voted likely not knowing they would later be disenfranchised when election officials voided their ballots.

To speak with a Stand Up America spokesperson, please contact [email protected].
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About Stand Up America
Stand Up America is a progressive advocacy organization with over two million community members across the country. Focused on grassroots advocacy to stand up to corruption and voter suppression and build a more representative democracy, Stand Up America has driven over 1.7 million calls to lawmakers, registered over 100,000 voters, mobilized thousands of protestors, and contacted tens of millions of voters.