TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – After a successful lawsuit from Attorney General Letitia James, the Rensselaer County Board of Elections is exploring options for a new early voting site in the City of Troy.
The suit was filed last month and alleged the county BOE was not following the state’s election law when it came to polling site accessibility.
Following the ruling, Rensselaer County is now forced increase voting access in the Collar City.
“Early voting gives ample time, it’s not just one day,” said Jerry Ford of the Troy Coalition of Black Leaders.
The BOE has until Wednesday to find a site that will be easily accessible to all Troy residents, prior to when early voting begins on June 12th.
After reaching out to the BOE Tuesday morning, News10 ABC’s Harrison Grubb went to the office and was told both commissioners were in a meeting discussing the next steps in response to the lawsuit.
Currently, there are three early voting locations in the county, but only one of those is physically within the City of Troy.
“They consider it south Troy, but it’s more like southeast Troy,” Ford explained.
The location, a church on Spring Avenue, would take roughly 17 minutes to drive to for someone located by the bus station on 124th Street. By bus it would be about 40 minutes, around 38 by bicycle and over two hours to get there on foot.
“It’s discouraging. When you put those sites in the downtown area of Troy, you make it more accessible,” said Ford.
Ford says he and other community leaders have offered assistance in finding accessible sites, even offering two different locations in the heart of downtown.
“It was very frustrating, the fact that they didn’t find a middle ground and meet us halfway,” he said.
While he says he’s disappointed the AG needed to step in, he’s encouraged that now people in the community will be given an easier opportunity to cast their ballots.
“Now that it’s done, hopefully not only in this primary election, but the general election, we’ll see some real change,” he said.