Thursday, May 6, 2021

Roosevelt Island Getting NYC Early Voting Pollsite Location From June 12 To June 20 For 2021 Primary Election Announced NY State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright Today - RIOC And NYC Board Of Elections Reach Agreement To Use Sportspark For Early Voting

Roosevelt Island residents waited on a long line stretching outside the PS/IS 217 polling location and wrapping around the Westview building next door

                                   Image of November 2, 2020 Roosevelt Island Voting Line From Julia Chang

to cast their vote in the November 2020 election.

It should be much easier for Roosevelt Island residents to vote in future elections, including the upcoming June 2021 Primary, because Early Voting is coming to Roosevelt Island.

Today, Roosevelt Island and Upper East Side Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright announced an Early Voting polling site for  Roosevelt Island at the Sportspark facility (250 Main Street).

According to this May 6 press release from Ms Seawright:

Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright announced today that Roosevelt Island's Sportspark Gymnasium will be available as an additional early voting pollsite from Saturday, June 12 to Sunday, June 20, according to an agreement she successfully reached with New York City Board of Elections and Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation's (RIOC) President and CEO Shelton J. Haynes.  

Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright said, "Roosevelt Islanders asked and we answered. In coordination with RIOC to bring early voting to Roosevelt Island this June. We must fulfill the intent of early voting including the ease of convenient voting times including early morning, late evening, and weekend hours. We are proud to support the establishment of additional sites to eliminate lines and long wait times that deter voters." 

Seawright had previously secured an additional early voting site for the general election last October at Marymount Manhattan College in order to help relieve the persistently long lines at Robert F. Wagner Middle School on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. The story made national news as she threatened litigation calling on the Board of Elections to open additional early voting sites to alleviate the pressure on the single largest early voting site in the state, overburdened with 118,000 eligible voters in what she described as “the horrendous treatment of the disabled, senior citizens, and working men and women-- voters who have stood in line for several hours to cast their ballots, including in the rain."

As reported last October 2

... There is no early voting polling station on Roosevelt Island. This week the Robert Wagner Middle School at 225 East 75th Street was the only early voting period polling location for Roosevelt Island.... 

...Roosevelt Island needs an early voting site here for our many elderly and disabled residents....

RIOC President Shelton Haynes, responding to an inquiry by a resident asking for an early voting site on Roosevelt Island before the November 2020 election, reported

As an update, Judy Berdy introduced me to the Manhattan Deputy Chief Clerk from the Borough Administration’s  office in mid-September. We then arranged for their staff to tour Sportspark as a potential early voting location from October 23rd to November 3rd. Sportspark met all of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)requirements and was a large enough space but unfortunately they elected to not use this facility.
Ms Seawright delivered and Roosevelt Island residents will now be able to Early Vote at the Sportspark Facility