The New York Civil Liberties Union filed a motion to intervene on behalf of Rensselaer County residents and the Troy NAACP in New York Attorney General Letitia James’ lawsuit against the Rensselaer County Board of Elections (BOE) for their refusal to provide Troy residents, including voters of color, low-income voters, and voters with disabilities, with equitable access to early voting sites, as required by state law.
The BOE is contesting the Attorney General’s authority to bring suits to protect New Yorkers’ voting rights from violations of the Election Law, such as the BOE’s failure to provide adequate and equitable access to early voting sites. Instead, the BOE argues that the State Board of Elections is the only state agency with the authority to prosecute violations of the Election Law. But the “bipartisan” State BOE is designed to protect the interests of the two major political parties and the incumbent officials who run them, not marginalized New Yorkers seeking equitable participation in our democracy. The BOE’s claim that the State Board of Elections should be the State’s sole voting rights enforcement authority is tantamount to arguing that there should be no voting rights enforcement at all. The NYCLU agrees with the AG that her office has the authority to enforce the voting rights of New Yorkers.