TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Dozens gathered to protest outside the Rensselaer County Board of Elections Friday afternoon, continuing to voice opposition to the county’s early voting plan.
“The intent is to make voting easy for citizens and voters of Rensselaer county. The options that they provided does not provide that,” said Renee Powell, president of the Troy NAACP.
Attorney General Letitia James sued the BOE, claiming their early voting plan did not follow the state’s election law. A judge agreed, forcing the board to find an additional polling location in Troy that would be easily accessible to all residents.
The BOE appealed the ruling, but a hearing on the case won’t be heard until June 23rd, a day after the primary election is held.
“We’ve been at this for almost three years now. I’m optimistic that we will prevail at some point but I am always cautiously optimistic,” Powell said.
The hearing comes after the the Office of the Attorney General tried to block the appeal, but the Appellate Division of the State Supreme Court denied that effort.
In a statement in response, the Rensselaer County Board of Elections said in part, “To be clear, with respect to the designation of early voting sites for 2021, the Board believes that it complied with Election Law Section 8-600 and the corresponding regulation.”
With the pending appeal, the county’s early voting plan will remain the same, with three polling locations, at the Holy Cross Armenian Church in Troy, the Town of Brunswick Office Building and Schodack Town Hall.
These three early locations are the same that were used last year, “Some of the comments I heard was they weren’t going to bother going there because it was just too difficult to get there. That hurts my heart because many people have sacrificed their lives to get the right to vote,” Powell explained.
There is also another option, with registered voters having the ability to apply for and fill out an absentee ballot at the Rensselaer County Board of Elections.