No mailing to remind voters about June 26 primary election

CYRIL JOSH BARKER Amsterdam News Staff | 6/14/2012, 4:16 p.m.

If you are a registered voter, don't expect to get a reminder in the mail about the upcoming June 26 primary election, at least not from the New York City Board of Elections.

City Councilwoman Inez Dickens recently informed the AmNews that the Board of Elections is not sending a mailing for the June 26 primary elections. Instead, they are asking elected officials to remind constituents to vote via newsletters and websites.

The mailing, usually sent out before elections, gives voters critical information they need to cast their ballot, including poll hours, where they are suppose to go to vote and information about their district.

"I asked a question at a government operation committee about what they are doing to have a mailing for the congressional primary," she said. "I was told that the budget was short and there is no additional money to notify the public there is a congressional primary election."

Dickens said that not enough people will know about the date if the Board of Elections is not proactive in getting people to come out on primary election day, now only a couple of weeks away. She fears that not having the mailing could lead to a low voter turnout. Coupled with the redrawn district lines, the whole process could be confusing.

The cash-strapped Board of Elections said that it can't afford the $1.9 million to mail a reminder to vote during the primary elections and that they are not legally bound to do so.

"We are legally required to take out paid advertisements in a citywide newspaper, two Chinese-language, one Korean and one Bengali publication prior to each election," said Valerie Vazquez, spokeswoman for the Board of Elections. "We also mail out a legally required information notice to each registered voter in August. Said notice includes the date of the upcoming election, voters- specific ED/AD and poll site address." However, since the federal congressional election is in June this year, the August mailing will do nothing for the June primary.

Voters can also visit www.vote.nyc.ny.us to locate their polling site and view a sample ballot.