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In 2020, more than 13,800 New York voters, eager to cast their ballots in the General Election, walked into a polling place and presented themselves to poll workers, who were unable to locate those voters in the poll book, even though they were registered. Poll workers directed them to vote provisionally by affidavit ballot and each did so. However, as officials determined several days later, these voters had all turned out and cast a ballot at a poll site in their county that was different from the one assigned to them, a fatal technical pitfall under New York’s election law.

Although poll workers are required by law to redirect lost voters to their assigned polling place before issuing them a ballot, in practice, that doesn’t consistently occur, leading election officials to reject the voter’s entire ballot at post-election canvass if it was cast at any poll site other than the one assigned. This includes votes for statewide contests that all voters may participate in like U.S. President, Senator, or Governor; as well as offices these voters are usually eligible to vote for, like their Member of Congress, county- or citywide officials, and state legislators

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New York City, election, voting rights


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