Press Releases

As Voting Rights Fight Builds Nationwide, New York State Assembly Poised to Lead By Striking Down Long-Standing Racist Barrier to the Ballot Box

MAY 10, 2022

Anushka Sarkar, 

If passed, legislation would allow a ballot to be counted at any polling site in the voter’s correct county

ALBANY, NY — Today, the New York State Assembly Election Law Committee voted to advance Assembly Bill 642-C, a critical voting rights bill that, if passed, would strike down a long-standing barrier to the ballot box 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:

“Today, as the threats to our freedom to vote build nationwide, the New York State Assembly took an important step toward ensuring every New Yorker’s voice is heard. Thanks to the advocacy of civil and voting rights groups across the state and the leadership of Assemblymember Latrice Walker (D-NY-55), New York is poised to strike down the ‘wrong church’ rule and show the nation that bureaucracy should not be allowed to silence the voice of any voter.

“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 misdirected and confused 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. 

“Now, the legislature must do its job and vote to end this long-standing racist barrier to the ballot box in New York.”

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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.