Mayor de Blasio Announces Robust Outreach Effort To Encourage New Yorkers To Vote In Thursday’s Primary Elections

September 12, 2018

NEW YORK––Ahead of Thursday’s New York State Primary Election and as part of the Mayor’s DemocracyNYC agenda, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced his Administration is conducting a robust, nonpartisan outreach effort in multiple languages to encourage more New Yorkers to vote in the primaries – elections that historically have had low voter participation. These efforts will continue to expand ahead of the upcoming General Election.

“The primaries have for years resulted in low voter turnout, and there’s no reason New Yorkers and our government should accept that anymore. New Yorkers must remember that their voice matters in every election,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “So we’re taking the initiative and reminding them to head out to the polls to have their voices heard. It’s the only way New Yorkers can take care of the issues that matter to them, and it’s the only way we can work towards a healthier and stronger democracy.”

“There are few things more important right now than participating in our democracy, and I encourage everyone to get active and involved and to vote as often as possible – in primaries, in general elections, and for down-ballot races,” said Council Speaker Corey Johnson. “I applaud Mayor de Blasio for making voter turnout a priority and I look forward to working with him on this. Our city and our nation are at their best when as many people as possible are voting, and New York should be leading the way in terms of voter turnout, not falling behind.”

“New York City works better when every New Yorker feels like they have a stake in how our city is governed,” said Deputy Mayor of Strategic Policy Initiatives Phil Thompson. “That’s why this administration is focused on getting all New Yorkers more involved in their community and increasing civic engagement citywide. Each election is important and we will continue developing innovative solutions, such as the extensive outreach the City is undertaking to encourage participation in tomorrow’s primaries, to make it easier for people to play a part in shaping the future of our democracy.”

“It’s our job to prepare the next generation of active and engaged citizens, and I’m proud that our school system is on the front lines of the efforts to educate New Yorkers about voting. We’ll continue our work to help our students and families make their voices heard, including through Student Voter Registration Day and our Civics for All initiative, and encourage them to get to the polls,” said Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza.

“Creating the strongest possible democracy starts on Election Day and I encourage all eligible New Yorkers to exercise their right to vote tomorrow,” said Mayor’s Public Engagement Unit Acting Director Eric Rotondi. “The Mayor's Public Engagement Unit is proud to partner with countless City agencies to proactively reach out to New Yorkers so they are aware of the election, especially given it’s on a Thursday this year, and make a plan to vote.”

“Year after year, voter turnout in New York falls far below the national average. Primary elections are the time to have your voice heard on the issues that matter, and no New Yorker should lose out on that opportunity this year. Thank you to Mayor De Blasio for prioritizing voter engagement and giving New Yorkers a stake in defining the future of their city and state this Thursday. Nothing less than the legitimacy of our democratic institutions is at stake,” said State Senator Brad Hoylman.

“Voting is one of our most fundamental rights as Americans. That’s why it’s so important to encourage all New Yorkers to have their votes counted. By reaching out to voters across the city, Mayor de Blasio is helping to ensure that all New Yorkers have the chance to make their voices heard at the ballot box,” said State Senator Liz Krueger.

“Our city is stronger when New Yorkers are actively engaged in the civic process. Now more than ever, it's critical that we all do our part to reverse the low voter turnout trend,” said Council Member Mark Treyger, Chair of the Committee on Education. “Please make the time to be a part of the democratic process by visiting your poll site and casting your vote on Election Day.”

The City’s outreach includes:

  • The DOE has provided school principals with letters that will be distributed to 1.1 million students today, the day before the primary, to encourage eligible students and their parents to vote in the upcoming election.
  • The Mayor’s Public Engagement Unit has started conducting citywide robocalls to 900,000 voters registered with a party.
  • City agency facilities that serve thousands of New Yorkers will feature signage about the primary. This includes most Human Resource Administration’s SNAP and job centers, City Parks and Recreation Centers, Small Business Services’ Workforce Centers, and DYCD’s community centers, among other facilities.
  • Homeless shelters have been provided with specific signage including the address of local polling sites and will remind voters of their rights.
  • The Mayor and Interim CUNY Chancellor Vita C. Rabinowitz sent a joint email to 225,000 CUNY students encouraging them to vote.
  • The City is sending 75,000 New Yorkers text messages reminding them to vote. This outreach started Monday, September 10th, and will run through Wednesday evening, September 12th.
  • In addition, more than 427,000 New York City government employees received an email reminder to vote in the upcoming primaries. City agencies sent additional reminders to hundreds of thousands of individuals who work closely with the City, including the Taxi and Limousine Commission’s network of 200,000 drivers and vehicle owners.
  • The City has launched advertisements on LinkNYC kiosks and on City social media accounts.
  • Voting.nyc banners are prominently displayed on NYC.gov and various agency sites

If you are an eligible New York voter, visit voting.nyc or call 311 to find your polling location, information on candidates and more.

pressoffice@cityhall.nyc.gov

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