Attorney General wins lawsuit against Rensselaer County Board of Elections

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TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – New York State Attorney General Letitia James announced Monday that her office has won a lawsuit against the Rensselaer County Board of Elections (BOE). The lawsuit stemmed from accusations that there were not enough early voting sites in Troy, especially for communities of color.

Judge Adam W. Silverman of the Rensselaer County Supreme Court ruled that BOE’s decision not to place a site in a centrally located area within Troy must be annulled. Rensselaer County has been ordered to select a site by June 9 for a centrally located site in Troy.

“This decision is critical to our efforts to ensure that every New Yorker has fair access to the polls,” said Attorney General James. “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. I will always fight to ensure that every New Yorker has the opportunity to make their voice heard at the polls.” 

In May of this year, AG James filed a lawsuit against the Rensselaer County BOE for failing to provide voters in Rensselaer County with adequate and equitable access to early voting poll sites, as required by New York’s Early Voting law. She says that the BOE ignored criteria that were required by law to take into account when determining poll sites.

She says despite repeated please from officials and community members the BOE continued to refuse to set a site that is easily accessible to Troy residents. James say the majority of the county’s Black, Hispanic, and lower-income communities reside in the Collar City.

NEWS10 has reached out to Rensselaer County and the Board of Elections for comment.

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