Compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act
False Board of Elections ADA Report
ADA Compliance Report D 5 Red Hook Submitted to NY State Supreme Court
Election Polling Place 2020 Full Filing
ADA Guidlines Board of Elections
Press Conference: ADA and Voting Rights
Letter to County Executive Marcus Molinaro
The Fight for a Polling Site on Bard's Campus
4.30.21 Letter to Commissioners Haight and Black on Poll Sites
4.1.21 Letter to Commissioners Haight and Black on Failure to Assign Poll Sites
3.12.21 Letter to Commissioners Haight and Black on Public Hearing
2.19.21 Letter to Commissioners Haight and Black on Poll Site
11.3.2020 Commentary: Remove obstacles to student vote
10.30.2020 The Andrew Goodman Foundation’s Statement on Bard College Polling Location Win
10.30.2020 Supreme Court Order Opening Polling Site to Bard
10.30.2020 Spectrum News on Polling Site Opening
10.29.2020 New York Times: Student Voting Surges Despite Efforts to Suppress it
10.23.2020 Judge’s Decision to Move D5 Polling Site to Bard College
10.28.2020 New York State Appellate Division (computer)
10.28.2020 New York State Appellate Division (Phone)
10.27.2020 Appellate Court: Bard Reply
10.27.2020 Declaration of Haight's Unauthorized Visit to Campus
10.26.2020 Appellate Court: Bard Reply Exhibits
Appellate Court: Commissioner Soto Brief
10.26.2020 Haight Appeal to Appellate Court of Judge's Decision
10.23.2020 Judge’s Decision to Move D5 Polling Site to Bard College
10.24.2020 Court orders Red Hook polling site moved to Bard campus
10.22.2020 Press Conference: ADA and Voting Rights
10.15.2020 Appeal of Judge's Decision
10.15.2020 WAMC Interview: Judge Rules Against Moving Polling Site to Bard College
10.13.2020 Judge's Decision
9.5.2020 Election@Bard, Andrew Goodman Foundation, and Bard College President File Voter Suppression Lawsuit
8.26.2020 Red Hook Town Board Votes for On-Campus Polling Place
Reclaiming Your Rights, Fighting Disenfranchisement
The committee recommended that the County Board of Elections “encourage the franchise among students.” After the removal of Republican Election Commissioner William Paroli Sr. on unrelated corruption charges, students were permitted to register to vote. However, in the dozen years since, students have still faced periodic problems, including frivolous challenges at the polls and shifting requirements for providing proof of residence. Bard has consistently advocated for student voting rights and attempted to ensure that students are properly registered. It has also supported litigation (as recently as 2009) to see that student votes are counted.
Your rights are once again under fire. Election Commissioner Erik Haight has rejected the proposal to locate the District 5 polling site on the Bard College campus, which would make it safer for students, disabled voters, and those without cars. Tell Haight that polls should be where people are: contact him by calling 845-486-2473, or emailing email@example.com.
History of the Fight for a Polling Site on Bard's Campus
Response to Election Commissioner's Defense (September 25, 2020)
Response from Commissioner Haight (September 21, 2020)
Jonathan Becker, Colleges Should Promote and Defend Student Voting (August 12, 2016)
Jonathan Becker, Director CCE, A Response to Commissioner Haight (June 9, 2016)
Jonathan Becker, Director CCE, Election Commissioner Haight’s Decision Breeds Cynicism (May 21, 2016)
Election@Bard Cohead Eva-Marie Quinones ’17 on the Fight for an On-Campus Polling Site (May 13, 2016)
2012: Class Action Lawsuit, Students vs. Dutchess County BOE
During the 2012 election season, voter registration forms were rejected from Bard, Culinary Institute of America, Marist and Vassar students. With the help of the NYCLU, a class-action lawsuit was filed against the Dutchess County Board of Elections. The affected students successfully challenged a decision by Dutchess County Republican Elections Commissioner Erik Haight to reject their applications because they didn’t list their dormitory name.
November 3, 2009: Student Intimidation
In 2009, voter intimidation and a poorly written legal decision by Judge Brands in Poughkeepsie led to students being needlessly challenged at the ballot box. Many of those challenged students were required to vote via affidavit ballot, even if living at the exact same address where they were registered. This was an effective tool, as affidavit ballots are frequently disqualified over technicalities during the counting process.
1999–2000: Students Denied Right to Vote Locally
In 1999, Bard and Vassar students joined together to challenge Republican Election Commissioner William Paroli Sr.’s illegal impediments to student voter registration. In 2000, a bipartisan county legislative committee looked into the matter and concluded unanimously that not only do students have the right to vote locally, but “The Dutchess County Board of Elections should encourage the use of voting franchise among students.” Even so, it took Paroli’s conviction on an unrelated felony to produce change and allow students the right to vote where they live, work and study.
More About the Fight for a Polling Place
The fight to relocate Bard's polling place to campus has been revitalized as of Spring 2020. Election@Bard and the Andrew Goodman Foundation, now represented by Venable LLP, a New York City-based law firm, recently submitted a letter to the Dutchess County Board of Elections demanding the relocation of Bard's polling place to campus. The group is open to exploring possible litigation should the request not be complied with.
The Andrew Goodman Foundation was created in 1966 by Robert and Carolyn Goodman to carry on the spirit and the purpose of their son Andrew’s life. Today, our work harnesses the legacy of courageous civic action to grow new leaders of change: young adults bitten by the spirit of activism (like Andy). Our campus coalitions spread a culture of participatory democracy, promoting the right to vote while incubating a new civic-minded generation.
In addition to the unnecessary distance, the polling site is located on an unlit and high-speed county road that has no pedestrian sidewalks. The present polling site is irrefutably inaccessible by foot. A polling site on Bard’s campus would be immediately accessible by foot to 68 percent of all voters in this voting district.
Furthermore, the current polling site is inaccessible by mass transit. However, a polling site at Bard College would be accessible by LOOP bus. It is important to note that, in 2010, NYS Election Law was amended to give preference to sites accessible by mass transit; “each polling place designated, whenever practicable, shall be situated directly on a public transportation route” (NY Elec L § 4-104  [a]).
Voter Map Factsheet (PDF)