JACKSON HEIGHTS — Polling sites that were shuttered two years ago — forcing some residents to walk more than a mile — were reinstated after discussions with the Board of Elections.
Councilman Danny Dromm worked with the BOE to bring voting back to the Renaissance Charter School on 81st Street, which was removed as a polling location in 2012 after the BOE found it was not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, according to Dromm.
The school's elevator was no longer working, prompting the removal. Elevator service at Renaissance Charter School has since been restored, and can now accommodate voters with disabilities, Dromm said.
Also, residents who had voted for years at P.S. 69 were moved to P.S. 222 a half-mile away after election districts were redrawn, making it difficult for people to vote, Dromm said.
“The original change of voting sites to P.S 222 for many Jackson Heights and Elmhurst residents meant the difference between voting or not voting because of the long distance they had to walk to get there,” Dromm said.
Voters, especially seniors, complained about the change — and the councilman said he personally tried to intervene by driving many voters to the new polling sites on Election Day.
Voters who used to use P.S. 69 have now been returned to the school, Dromm said.
Local voter Abby Drucker, 68, said she was "ecstatic" to return to her home polling place at P.S. 69.
"Changing polling sites after decades of going to the same site and making registered voters travel by foot or public/private transportation far from home discouraged many eligible voters from participating because of age, disability or the inability to get to polling places during voting hours," she said.