Polling site reopens after repairing elevator
by Andrew Shilling
Apr 16, 2014 | 492 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
BOE executive director Michael Ryan and Councilman Daniel Dromm at Renaissance Charter School in Jackson Heights.
BOE executive director Michael Ryan and Councilman Daniel Dromm at Renaissance Charter School in Jackson Heights.
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Abby Drucker
Abby Drucker
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Hundreds of elderly, disabled and hard-working voters in Jackson Heights will no longer be forced to walk up to a mile to cast their ballots in future elections.

It was announced last week that the Board of Elections is reopening the polling site at the Renaissance Charter School at 35-59 81st St., and reassigning some voters back to their original location at P.S. 69 at 77-02 37th St.

Councilman Daniel Dromm said he has long fought with the BOE to bring back the polling site after there was a problem with the elevator two years ago.

“It was therefore not disabled accessible,” Dromm said of the Renaissance Charter School. “Now the elevator situation has been taken care of, it is accessible again and voting can go on in this building.”

With limited polling locations, Dromm said he drove many constituents over the last two years to cast their votes.

“The original change of voting sites to P.S. 222 for many Jackson Heights and Elmhurst residents meant the difference between voting or not voting because of the long distance they had to walk to get there,” he said.

Abby Drucker, a resident of 76th Street, said she has been sending in absentee ballots for the last two years since she was moved from her polling site at P.S. 69 to I.S. 145 on 34th Avenue and 81st Street.

“Walking at 5:30 in the morning in the dark on deserted streets was not something I really wanted to do,” said Drucker, who has to be at work by 7 a.m. each day. “I am ecstatic that I am back at my home polling place.”

Standing in front of the busy charter school, BOE executive director Michael Ryan joined Dromm to make the announcement.

“I am pleased that the needs of people have been met in a way that accommodates all voters in such a heavily populated area,” said Ryan. “Including those who previously faced physical obstacles in their efforts to participate in the democratic system.”

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