City Council Member and Queens District Attorney Candidate Rory I. Lancman (D-Kew Gardens Hills, Pomonok, Electchester, Fresh Meadows, Hillcrest, Jamaica Estates, Briarwood, Parkway Village, Jamaica Hills, Jamaica) hailed Mayor Bill de Blasio’s announcement yesterday that the city has registered 897 incarcerated individuals and jail facility visitors for the upcoming general election.
The city also submitted absentee ballot request forms for a total of 547 incarcerated individuals.
Since this initiative began this past August, 624 incarcerated individuals and 273 jail facility visitors were registered in time to vote in Tuesday’s election. These efforts will continue after Election Day so that incarcerated individuals are registered for future elections. The City will have the final number of absentee ballots submitted to the Board of Elections (BOE) after Election Day.
“Justice-involved individuals who are eligible to vote should have the opportunity to participate in our Democracy, and we should make it easy for them to do so. It is good news for our City that more individuals are able to make their voices heard in shaping the future of their communities,” said Lancman
This past August, de Blasio launched a robust voter registration and information campaign to help incarcerated individuals exercise their right to vote. This included volunteers from the Mayor’s Public Engagement Unit (PEU), the Campaign Finance Board (CFB) and the Legal Aid Society (LAS) launching voter registration and Get-Out-the-Vote campaigns within DOC facilities.
The drive also saw more than 1,200 posters displayed throughout facilities encouraging people who are incarcerated to vote and eventually stocking libraries with non-partisan information about candidates published by CFB’s NYC Votes.
Additionally, incarcerated individuals had the opportunity to attend regular, voluntary discussions with DOC program counselors to learn more about the voting process. The Mayor’s PEU also engaged City jail visitors and encouraged them to register to vote.
Increasing voting access is part of de Blasio’s DemocracyNYC initiative, which aims to increase civic engagement and strengthen democracy locally and nationally.
“Voting gives people a chance to have their voices heard and weigh in on important issues that affect all of our lives,” said de Blasio. “With this initiative, we’re helping many more incarcerated individuals participate in our democracy and have their voices heard.”