Kavanagh Joins Public Advocate Bill De Blasio to Call for Enhanced Voter Education in New York City

January 5, 2010

On January 5, 2010, just hours before the New York City Board of Elections (NYCBOE) approved a new system that will use paper ballots and optical scanners to tally votes for the 2010 elections, Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh joined Public Advocate Bill de Blasio to call upon the NYCBOE to begin a proactive voter education program. The initiative, dubbed the “Voter Information Plan,” would seek to provide every voter with information on using the new machines in advance of election days through traditional and newer media.

Also in attendance were Senator Joseph Addabbo, the chair of the Senate Elections Committee, and Council-member Dan Garodnick, as well as several voting rights groups, including the League of Women Voters, Common Cause, NYPIRG, and the Center for the Independence of the Disabled New York.

“As we move to adopt a modern system for casting and counting votes, it is critical that we give voters every opportunity to understand the new machines and to have confidence in the system,” Kavanagh said. “This past Election Day, my staff and I visited poll sites in ten counties to the north that piloted machines like the ones New York City will now use. We found that the experience of voters varied widely, in part depending on the level of preparation and public outreach conducted by election officials in advance of the election. I applaud Public Advocate de Blasio for putting together excellent suggestions for maximizing effective outreach here in the city.”