New York, NY - April 15, 2016 - Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced that his office has created a Hotline to help troubleshoot and resolve a range of issues and barriers encountered by voters at the polls for the primary on Tuesday, April 19. The Attorney General urges voters experiencing problems or issues at the polls to call the office’s hotline at 800-771-7755 or email at any time between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. The hotline will be staffed by attorneys and staff in the office's Civil Rights Bureau.
“Voting is the cornerstone of our democracy, and my office is deeply committed to ensuring equal access for all eligible voters on election day,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “I urge all New Yorkers to immediately contact my office if they face any barriers or issues that prevent them from casting an effective ballot.”
In New York City and the counties of Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Rockland, Orange, Putnam and Erie, polls open at 6:00 AM and close at 9:00 PM.
For all other counties, polls open at 12:00 PM and close at 9:00 PM.
The Attorney General’s Office has operated the Hotline since November 2012. During previous efforts the office fielded hundreds of complaints from voters across the state and worked with local election officials and others to promptly address issues encountered by voters at the polls. The Election Day hotline is part of Attorney General Schneiderman's ongoing statewide initiative to ensure that voters do not encounter language barriers on Election Day.
In addition, the Attorney General's Office will focus on barriers impacting voters with disabilities, voter intimidation reports, and other issues faced by minority voters. Registered voters have the right to accessible elections. This means that voters with disabilities or language access issues have the right to request assistance from any person of their choice. In addition, all registered voters have the right to vote free from coercion or intimidation, whether by election officials or any other person.
The office will receive and respond to election-related complaints relating to any of the statutes that the office enforces.
New Yorkers should be aware that New York has a closed primary system. In order to vote in a party’s primary election, a voter must be affiliated with that party. For the Presidential Primary on April 19, 2016, only the Republican and Democratic Parties are holding elections.
Newly-registered voters will be eligible to participate in the Presidential Primary if the voter submitted a registration application on or before March 25, 2016 and is affiliated with either the Republican or Democratic Party. Previously registered voters will be eligible to participate in the Presidential Primary if they were affiliated with the Republican or Democratic Primary as of October 9, 2015. Any change to party enrollment submitted after October 9, 2015, will not take effect until after the November 2016 General Election.
The Attorney General’s Election Day Hotline is being led by Assistant Attorneys General Ajay Saini and Diane Lucas, and Volunteer Assistant Attorney General Joseph Abboud of the Civil Rights Bureau, led by Bureau Chief Lourdes Rosado. The Social Justice Division is led by Executive Deputy Attorney General Alvin Bragg.