To help avoid last fall’s early voting fiasco – which saw Upper East Siders waiting for hours in long lines to cast their ballots – the Metropolitan Museum of Art is stepping up as an additional polling site for the June primary.
Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright, who represents part of the Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island, announced this week The Met’s plans to open its doors to voters for the first time in its 151-year history. The museum will be open for early voting from June 12 to 20 and for the primary election on June 22. New Yorkers from both parties will be picking their nominees for mayor, City Council, borough president, district attorney, and other offices.
The museum is one of the 16 additional early voting sites formally approved by the New York City Board of Elections, now totaling 104 sites citywide for the June primary.
“We commend President and CEO Daniel H. Weiss for setting an example in civic leadership for which The Met is internationally recognized,” Seawright said in a statement. “More early voting locations will eliminate lines and long wait times.”
Seawright initially pushed for more early voting sites last fall when 118,000 eligible voters were all assigned to a single polling site at Robert F. Wagner Middle School on the UES, resulting in wait times lasting in some cases several hours. At the time, the assembly member threatened litigation if the BOE did not open an additional location in order to alleviate the overburdened site, describing the situation as a “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.” In response, the BOE eventually added Marymount Manhattan College to its roster of early voting sites.
In preparation of the June primary, Seawright and some of her East Side colleagues helped secure The Met as a polling site with a letter to Weiss and the BOE pointing out the lack of locations in the neighborhood.
“During the last Presidential election, the New York City Board of Elections deployed only 9 early voting sites for more than 1.18 Million voters in Manhattan (roughly one assigned site per 131,270 voters),” the officials wrote. “That’s more than double the ratio of voters per site prescribed by the law, rendering Manhattan the most under-served locality for early voting access in the City and the State.”
The BOE approved the site Tuesday. Marymount College and Robert H. Wagner Middle School will be open to East Side voters again this year. To find out your assigned early voting and Election Day polling place, visit findmypollsite.vote.nyc.