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Our December general meeting will be Wednesday, December 11th at YWCA Brooklyn (30 3rd Avenue, Brooklyn NY), 7 – 9 p.m. At our meeting, we will discuss and plan for the 2020 New York legislative session. All are welcome!

 

Check back for more information on our call relay to New York State Assembly and Senate leaders and Governor Cuomo to ensure that all bills passed during the 2019 legislative session are signed before the end of the year!

It is important to check your voter registration.

As we get closer to the 2020 general election, it is important that you check to make sure you are still registered to vote and that you are registered at your current address. If you are not registered to vote, the voter registration deadline in New York is October 9th. If you have New York State Driver’s license, you can register through the DMV portal.

Would you like to vote at home?

Request an absentee ballot online. The NYC Board of Elections will begin mailing ballots on September 18th. Once you receive your ballot, fill it out and mail it back. We suggest mailing ballots back to the BOE by October 15th. After October 15th, ballots can be dropped off at the BOE or at any early voting or election day poll site.

CREATE YOUR VOTING PLAN.

Know before you go…VOTE.

There are three ways to vote in New York during the general election this fall. Follow each link to find information about each voting method and steps to create your voting plan.

Request an absentee ballot. Once you receive your ballot in the mail, we recommend requesting and/or mailing back your completed ballot no later than October 15th. After October 15th, you can drop off your completed ballot at an early voting or election day poll site or the Board of Elections.

There are 9 days of early voting from October 24th through November 1st. You will vote at an assigned early voting poll site.

The General Election is Tuesday, November 3rd. Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. You will vote at your local poll site.

Check your voter registration status. You should periodically check your registration information to make sure you are still registered and your information is correct.

Not registered? Download a voter registration form HERE! Or if you have a NY Driver’s license, register online! The last day to register to vote is October 9th.

Need to change your registration address? Change your address by submitting a new voter registration form by October 14th. By law, you should be registered at your permanent address. Remember, if you want to be in a party, you must fill out that information on the registration form or you may be unregistered from the party you previously selected.

“Pop up” Voter Registration & Free Kits

Sitting in a park? Doing outside dining with friends or family? How about putting up a sign asking New Yorkers to vote? We have made multiple kits to distribute to BVA members who are interested (and comfortable) with doing in-person voter registration this summer.

If you are interested and can commit to conducting registration efforts, please send an email to bkvotersalliance@gmail.com or a message through our contact us page with your name and a brief blurb of the type of voter registration events/opportunities you will be conducting. If you cannot pick up a kit this Sunday, please still get in contact with us and we will arrange for pick up.

Voter registration efforts do not need to be formal and can be as simple as putting up a sign while you sit in the park with some friends. Only volunteer if you are comfortable with in-person voter registration. We will increase our digital registration efforts as we get closer to the election. We will also arrange virtual voter registration training if you are new to voter registration. Contact bkvotersalliance@gmail.com

Each kit contains: 

If you do not receive a kit from us or are willing and able to make your own, please reference this DIY guidePlease let us know if you schedule any voter registration events or efforts so that we can add these events to our central calendar and put out a request for volunteers (if needed). 


Census 2020 #MakeBrooklynCount

Census 2020 will shape the next ten years of our lives. In 2010, Brooklyn was the most under-counted large urban area in the country, with a response rate of 54% in comparison to an average of 76%. Check out our census presentation to learn more. COMPLETE THE CENSUS ONLINE AT MY2020CENSUS.GOV OR BY PHONE AT (844) 330-2020.

Please share information on how people can complete the census:

Guide to responding online. *you must complete the census in one sitting. If you leave the page and return, you will have to start over* 

Languages for online questionnaire – English, Spanish, Chinese (Simplified), Vietnamese, Korean, Russian, Arabic, Tagalog, Polish, French, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, and Japanese. Additional web pages and guides in 59 languages, including American Sign Language, Braille, and large print HERE.

Guide to responding by phone. English speakers should call 844-330-2020. For additional languages, please click the link. 

Guide to responding by mail. A small percentage of homes will receive a census form to mail in during this initial count. This percentage may be increased due to current conditions. If someone receives the census form in the mail, they can complete that form or complete the census by the other available methods.

Key Census FAQ 

Who is counted? Everyone who is or will be living in the household on April 1, 2020. More information on special circumstances when deciding how a person should be counted on your census questionnaire. 

What about college students? Even though colleges and universities have closed or moved to online teaching, students should be counted where they live while at school.

Why is the census important? The census helps determine how billions of dollars of federal funding (for healthcare (!), schools, fire departments, etc) will be distributed and is used to determine the number of seats in Congress each state is allocated. The number of congressional seats directly impacts the number of electoral votes a state has for presidential elections. If you think or someone you know thinks that New York doesn’t matter in presidential elections. With less congressional representatives and accordingly, less electoral votes, it certainly won’t.

DOWNLOAD census flyers and graphics to share on social media HERE.

Languages for flyers in English, Spanish, Chinese, Haitian Creole, and Polish. Translation credit: Judith Hertzberg

Key Dates:

March 12-30 —> Every household will receive a letter from the U.S Government with a code to fill the census out online

Look out for your census form!

April 1 —> Census Day! Please encourage everyone to fill out the Census by this date 

CENSUS 101. Click here to learn more about the census.


New Law Alert: 16 and 17 year olds can now pre-register to vote! Future voters should use the new voter registration forms available HERE.


#RESTORE THE VOTE

Those of us who attended BVA’s #restorethevote forum and/or have researched this topic know and understand that New York’s voting laws are steeped in racism. And to uphold these laws, more than a century later, without any reflection on why they were passed and if they are still needed does a disservice to all New Yorkers. Nowhere in our constitution does it state that a person loses their citizenship when convicted of a felony. Instead, the restrictions to felony enfranchisement are by operation of political calculations that we have the duty, and the right, to question. 

While we at BVA are advocating for universal voting, where losing the right to vote becomes the exception (like in instances of election fraud) rather than the rule. We understand that not everyone is ready for such transformational change (six million people across the nation have lost their right to vote) and that opinions will not change in a day. Therefore, if you are not supportive of universal voting, we challenge you to first, engage with your individual understanding of this issue and formulate your reasons for non-support, and second, to share your opinions and work with us as we explore our advocacy in this area. We want to hear all voices as we work towards our goal of establishing a more just democracy. Want to learn more? 

View or Download our one-sheet on felony disenfranchisement.

Check out The Sentencing Project. HERE

The New York Times op-ed “Tell Me Again Why Prisoners Can’t Vote.” HERE

2016 article from The Atlantic: Polls for Prisons. HERE

Whether you support universal voting or you are not ready, BVA has 2 goals regarding felony disenfranchisement:

  1. To gather information on whether your representative supports codifying Governor Cuomo’s executive order granting a conditional pardon to people on parole, thereby restoring their right to vote and/or universal voting and 
  2. To demand that the state legislature pass legislation codifying Governor Cuomo’s executive order 

Please also email bkvotersalliance@gmail.com if you receive an answer to these questions of wish to learn more or discussion felony restoration.