Petition calls on city, county to address polling site problems for senior housing residents
May 03, 2012 | 2223 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print

JERSEY CITY - A local activist is circulating a petition calling on the City Council and Hudson County Board of Elections to allow recently redistricted senior citizens to vote in their old polling station.

As a result of recent redistricting in Jersey City following the results of the 2010 U.S. Census, several elderly residents at the Lafayette Senior Living Center were shifted from one district and placed in another one. This redistricting, completed in February, also meant these seniors were assigned new polling sites at which to cast their ballots.

Last month, during the April 17 Board of Education election, several Lafayette residents were unpleasantly surprised to discover that their new polling site is nearly a mile away from the senior center. The reassignment was particularly ironic given the fact that the Lafayette Senior Living Center is itself a designated polling site - and had previously been the polling station for the residents who were now being told to vote elsewhere.

Angela McKnight, president of AngelaCARES Inc., a Jersey City-based elder care organization, is now circulating a petition throughout the city asking that changes be made so these residents can go back to voting at the senior center.

"Allowing current voting rules to stand will result in considerable suppression of the senior voting populations' vote," the petition reads in part.

Problems with the Lafayette residents were among several redistricting-related issues that were reported by voters last month during the Board of Educaton election. The Hudson County Board of Elections has promised to address the problems in time for the upcoming statewide Democratic and Republican primaries, scheduled for June 5. - E. Assata Wright

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