Voting rights activists protest Rensselaer County BOE’s appeal of judge’s order

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Early voting for the primary election begins Saturday morning.

NewsChannel 13 been reporting about how the Rensselaer County Board of Elections is appealing a judge’s order to put another polling place in Troy.

People gathered in Troy Friday to protest that response.

NewsChannel 13 heard from voting rights activists who say the Board of Election’s appeal is voter suppression. Some of them say they were disappointed by the move, but not surprised.

As NewsChannel 13 reported last week, a judge sided with the attorney general, who sued the Rensselaer County Board of Elections for not having enough early voting sites with equitable access to lower income or minority communities. Specifically, they wanted to see more early voting sites in downtown Troy. BOE filed that appeal on Thursday. We won’t hear anything more on that until June 23.

In the meantime, activists say they want people to be aware of what’s going on.

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NewsChannel 13 reached out to the Rensselaer County Board of Elections for comment. They say they’ve been in touch with the attorney general’s office to allow them to tour potential early voting sites with the board.

They say the AG refused to cooperate and chose to file a lawsuit.

However, they say there are four early voting options available in Rensselaer County for eligible voters. They are the Holy Cross Armenian Church in Troy, Brunswick Town Office Building, Schodack Town Hall and the County Board of Elections Office, which is also in Troy.

Representatives say those locations in Troy are not central enough for many low-income individuals to be able to cast their ballots. They specifically wanted to see Bethel Baptist and Unity House considered as options.

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