Informational Posters: Prior to upcoming elections, the Department hangs posters in high-traffic areas alerting individuals to the election, their right to civic engagement, and the state's voter eligibility criteria.
Voter Packets: The Department prepares and distributes targeted voter packets that contain eligibility information for incarcerated individuals, key election deadlines and dates, and messaging to encourage participation. Voter registration and absentee ballot request forms are provided in both English and Spanish, and instructions on how to obtain information and forms in other languages are also included. Finally, the packets include non-partisan registration materials and ballot request form instructions.
Eligibility: Voter packets provide additional guidance for individuals who are on parole and are otherwise eligible to vote so that they may do so without needing to seek a conditional pardon pursuant to a new State law.
Ballots and Voting: Individuals can further request voter registration and absentee ballot request forms in any language covered by the Board of Elections (“BOE”).
In-Person Voter Assistance: The Department also provides in-person voter assistance in housing units to ensure individuals have a clear understanding of their eligibility, the voting process, and the related BOE forms. Since 2018, the Department has trained over 100 members of staff in a non-partisan voter assistance curriculum developed with a focus on engaging individuals in custody in the civic process. The training was specifically approved by the New York City Campaign Finance Board (NYCCFB) and has been updated to include training on ranked choice voting to reflect changes in the primary process.
Civic Engagement Events: On a quarterly basis, in partnership with external service providers and city agencies, the Department conducts civic engagement events spread over the course of a week that assist individuals with voter registration and provide education about elections and the voting process.
Volunteers and Staff: Volunteers and staff conduct voter registration and absentee ballot drives within the facilities, distribute information brochures, and offer civic education. These volunteers and staff are trained on how to educate those in custody on relevant campaign issues and on the ways that individuals in custody can practice their constitutional right to vote.