The beleaguered city Board of Elections is getting some academic intervention on the Upper East Side to help make it easier for residents to cast ballots during early voting this weekend amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Marymount Manhattan College has agreed to allow its campus to be used as an early voting site on Saturday and Sunday to help reduce unprecedented hours-long lines of voters at the only major UES polling site at Robert Wagner Middle School a few blocks away.
More than 100,000 voters are assigned to the overwhelmed Wagner School polling site.
The elections agency underestimated the number of voters who would flock to early voting sites starting last weekend. Early voting runs through Nov. 1.
Many of the 88 poll sites were overwhelmed, with the BOE leadership providing an inadequate number of staff, poll tablets and ballot printers to check in voters and scanners to tabulate the ballots, Post visits and interviews found.
Marymount Manhattan College president Kerry Walk committed to offering space at her campus for an early voting site after being approached by state Assemblywoman Rebecca Seawright, who represents the UES.
The BOE’s Manhattan Democratic commissioner, Tiffany Townsend, is expected to propose that the Marymount campus be added as a new polling site at a board meeting scheduled for Thursday.
“I spoke today with Dr. Kerry Walk, the President of Marymount Manhattan College, and asked her for assistance,” Seawright said.
“Dr. Walk stepped up immediately and informed me that Marymount Manhattan College can host early voting on the college campus on Saturday, October 31st, and Sunday, November 1.”
Seawright then asked Commissioner Townsend for her support to add Marymount as a supplemental early voting site.
A BOE insider confirmed adding Marymount as a polling site will be taken up.
Seawright threatened to sue the board if it doesn’t fix the “haphazard” conditions at the Wanger polling site.
“If steps are not taken to alleviate the mistreatment of voters at the Wagner Middle School, then we are prepared to go into New York State Supreme Court to litigate the matter on behalf of the voters,” the assemblywoman said.
The board will also vote to approve more pay for poll workers who will work nine more hours at poll sites this weekend. The BOE added nine hours to the schedule from Friday through Sunday to try to reduce long lines at the 88 early voting sites.
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