Residents at a Flushing housing complex will again be able to vote at a polling place on their campus this year, a lawmaker announced.
Latimer Gardens, a New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) residence at 137th Street and Latimer Place, will have its polling place restored within the complex’s gymnasium, according to Congresswoman Grace Meng. The Board of Elections (BOE) is expected to restore the site in time for this year’s elections. It will be the polling place for approximately 2,000 voters.
The polling place was originally established in 2006 and set up in the complex’s community room, but was removed in 2012 due to the room’s lack of accessibility for those with disabilities.
After the Latimer Gardens polling place was closed in 2012, complex tenants and surrounding residents looking to vote had to travel to P.S. 214, which is about a half-mile away. The distance made it difficult for residents to vote — especially the complex’s dense senior population, according to Meng.
In response, the representative sent a letters to the BOE and NYCHA Chair and Chief Executive Officer Shola Olatoyein in November 2017, urging both parties to work to reinstate a polling site at the complex.
The new polling site at Latimer Gardens is ADA-accessible, and the BOE will inform residents by mail about their new voting location.
Meng called DOE’s move to restore the site “great news.”
“It will make it much easier for these voters to access the ballot box and it knocks down the barriers that residents faced in exercising their right to vote,” she said. “I thank the BOE for listening to the concerns I raised about this problem and for working with me to fix it. I look forward to this restored voting location benefiting the Latimer Gardens community, and the area surrounding it, for many years to come.”