City University of New York and the New York City Board of Elections announced today that CUNY had surpassed its goal of recruiting 1,000 students as poll workers to help address shortages for this fall’s city-wide elections.
More than 1200 students have signed up. The collaboration between CUNY and the Board of Elections is the largest recruitment partnership between a university and a local board of elections. Training of the new poll workers will be provided by the Board of Elections at CUNY campuses this summer.
Speaking at a July 19th press conference on the City Hall steps were City Councilman A. Gifford Miller, who proposed the collaboration; State Assemblyman Jeff Klein, author of pending legislation to double the pay of poll workers in New York State; CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein; Robert Abrams, former New York State Attorney General and President of Citizens Union Foundation; Steven Richmond, Legal Counsel, Board of Elections; Camille Rivera of the New York Public Interest Research Group and Desiree Morgan of the University Student Senate.
“The City University of New York has a longstanding tradition of encouraging voter registration, enfranchisement and participation in the electoral process. I am pleased that CUNY students are once again leaders in civic involvement” said Chancellor Goldstein.
Robert Abrams praised Chancellor Goldstein for his efforts to recruit election inspectors. He urged other colleges and universities throughout New York City to follow the example set by the CUNY administration. He added, “Many of New York City’s voting problems can be rectified by recruiting enough well-informed, well-trained inspectors. Students are ideal candidates to solve the shortage of election inspectors because of their enthusiasm and energy. In addition, working at the polls will provide students a first-hand experience with the process involved in conducting elections and may in fact lead to a lasting interest in politics.”
City Councilman A. Gifford Miller said, “We need meaningful election reform. Last year the city was short 4,000 poll workers and that is unacceptable. I am thrilled that CUNY can make a difference in the coming election by adding well over 1,000 student poll workers. It is a great experience for the students and will boost our election worker base.”
Board of Elections training started yesterday at LaGuardia Community College and will continue at CUNY campuses, including Lehman College, New York City Technical College, Borough of Manhattan Community College and York College through August 2.