Sitting inside the Bethel Baptist Church in downtown Troy, it’s one of the locations where Noreen McKee and Renee Powell would like to see become an early voting site in Rensselaer County.
The pair are part of a coalition that has been pushing for this area to become home to an early voting poll since it was established.
“We’re, like everyone else, waiting to see how that will pan out,” said Powell, president of the NAACP Troy Branch.
They’re waiting for the new locations because on Monday, acting Rensselaer County Supreme Court Justice Adam Silverman threw out the county's early voting plan for Rensselaer County.
The court injunction was granted in response to a lawsuit filed last month by State Attorney General Letitia James, alleging the Rensselaer County Board of Elections failed to provide Black, Hispanic and low-income communities proper access to early voting in Troy.
What You Need To Know
- On Monday, acting Rensselaer County Supreme Court Judge Adam Silverman ordered the county's Board of Elections to come up with early voting locations in Troy by Wednesday
- State Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit last month, alleging the BOE violated the state's early voting law
- A coalition has recommended the Bethel Baptist Church and the Unity House as adequate locations for Troy voting
“As states around the country seek to infringe on this most basic right and make it harder to vote, our work to protect and expand voting rights in New York is more important than ever,” James said in a statement on Monday.
“To get to the sites they’ve created will take bus rides and people will have to walk,” said McKee, a board member of the League of Women Voters of Rensselaer County. “It’s just very, very inconvenient.”
As part of the ruling, County Elections Commissioners Jason Schofield and Edward McDonough will have to select new sites by Wednesday, locations “that provide adequate and equitable access for all voters in Rensselaer County, including voters in the City of Troy,” Silverman ruled.
The previous early voting polls were placed in Schodack, Brunswick and south Troy. But Powell and McKee are advocating for one of the new locations to be sited in the downtown area, which they say meets the criteria set by the early voting law.
“I consider this just one of the battles that needs to be won in order to win the war and maintain our voting rights,” Powell said.
The coalition has put forth the Bethel Baptist Church and the Unity House as adequate locations. Neither Schofield nor McDonough responded to requests for comments.
Early voting for the primary election begins Saturday.