Sat | Nov 28, 2020

Call for more polling sites for early voting in New York

Published:Monday | October 26, 2020 | 12:11 AM
Council members Laurie Cumbo (left) and Jumaane Williams.
Council members Laurie Cumbo (left) and Jumaane Williams.

NEW YORK (CMC):

Caribbean American Democratic New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams has called on the city’s Board of Elections to establish more polling sites to accommodate the flood of voters, ahead of the November 3 election.

“Across the city, thousands of people waited hours in line to cast their ballot on the first day of early voting. This demonstrates energy, enthusiasm and engagement from New York voters. The turnout today surprised and inspired me,” Williams, the son of Grenadian immigrants, told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC).

“While long lines are a sign of civic pride and determination, they are also a sign that we may need to open additional sites in the future to meet the demand of the electorate,” he added. “The administration (City of New York) and Board of Elections must monitor the next couple of days very closely.

“Thankfully, there are nine days remaining, including another weekend to vote early,” Williams continued. “I encourage New Yorkers to take advantage of this opportunity to cast your ballot at the best time for you, while also reducing the expected strain on the system November 3.

“This is our opportunity to vote for a government that reflects and represents the needs of our communities,” he said.

But, even as some of them are running in uncontested races in the general elections, Caribbean American legislators in New York have been urging nationals to vote in what they describe as, perhaps, the most important US presidential election in their lifetime.

“In our lifetime, we have heard before, ‘this is the most important election ever’, but never has this been truer than this 2020 election,” said veteran New York State Democratic Assemblyman Nick Perry, the Jamaica-born Democratic representative for the 58th Assembly District in Brooklyn, New York.

“I firmly believe that four more years of (President Donald J.) Trump in the White House will see the destruction of America’s democracy, as we know it, and as the founding fathers tried to create,” added Perry, who is running unopposed in the November 3 general elections. “After only four years, one would have to be totally blind to not see and hear the awful noise of the breaks and cracks of our Democratic system of government that no one imagined could have occurred.

BLUE WAVE

“I urge everyone to not only vote for Joe Biden for president but to continue down the ballot on the Democratic line and create not a blue wave but a blue tsunami that will reverberate across the nation,” he urged.

New York became one of the last states to permit early voting after the State Legislature last year approved it, with Democrats taking control of both chambers – the Senate and the Assembly.

In a message to Caribbean voters, Williams had urged the community to “make a plan for how you’re voting”.

Caribbean American Democratic Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, daughter of Jamaican immigrants, had also urged nationals to devise a plan on voting.

“I will be casting my ballot, along with my family, during the early vote period, which begins this Saturday, October 24, and I encourage everyone to make a plan to vote either by absentee, early vote or on Election Day on Tuesday, November 3,” Clarke told CMC.