CIDNY’s Poll Site Accessibility Summary for the 2017 General Election

On Election Day, CIDNY staff and volunteers conducted comprehensive polling site surveys for accessibility.

The survey findings showed many of the same problems identified in previous years. This demonstrates that the New York City Board of Elections has not sufficiently addressed the barriers faced by voters with disabilities.

With surveys completed at 59 polling sites, we found that 35, or 59%, of the sites had at least one physical access barrier. Those barriers included narrow doorways, inadequate signage, pathways with broken concrete, non-ADA compliant ramps, and poorly placed machines.

CIDNY’s volunteers and staff completed survey training and surveyed polling sites in the 5 boroughs on Election Day. Volunteer Christine Serdjenian Yearwood says: “CIDNY provided an excellent training that prepared me to serve as a poll site accessibility monitor for the general election this year. It was a great experience, and I was happy to be able to serve in this way. I will most certainly do it again next year.”

If you have a story about access to your polling site, you can still fill out our individual voter survey at or contact Monica Bartley at 646/442-4152 or




Image description: IS 70 333 West 18th St., Manhattan. Approximately 1 ¼” high bevel with cracked cement creating tripping hazards and barriers for people who are blind or those using wheelchairs, scooters, or walkers.

Image description: PS 130, Brooklyn. Bad bevel. This beveled area is inadequate for people using wheelchairs, scooters, or walkers to access the sidewalk.

Image description: 777 Concourse Village, Bronx. Broken concrete along the pathway.

Image description: New Heights, Brooklyn. Traffic cone propping door blocking access to the entrance (a poll worker eventually came out to hold the door open).


Election Dates 2017

We encourage everyone to get out and vote. The Mayor, City Council, Public Advocate, and Comptroller all have a say in our issues like curb cuts, poll site access, Access-A-Ride, subways, and buses. Let them know we are active, we vote, and we are watching what they say and do.

If you have not registered to vote, you can still register for the November 7th General Election. Deadlines for registration are:

October 13 

  • Mail registration for General Election. Last day to postmark application for registration for General Election. The last day it must be received by the Board of Elections is October 18th.
  • In person registration for General Election. Last day application for registration must be received by the Board of Elections to be eligible to vote in the General Election. If honorably discharged from the military or have become a naturalized citizen since October 13th, you may register in person at the board of elections up until October 28th.
  • Last day for a change of party enrollment.

October 18 

  • Last day for a change of address.

If you have internet access, you can also register to vote or change your address for your registration online through the NYS Department of Motor Vehicles website. To use the DMV site, you must have a driver’s license or a non-driver ID. 

If you need help registering to vote or changing your address, please contact Monica Bartley at or call 212/674-2300. You can also contact your CIDNY benefits counselor who can help you.

October 19

  • Interested in volunteering to conduct poll site surveys? We’re hosting a training at our Manhattan office (841 Broadway, Suite 301, New York, NY 10003) on October 19th from 2 – 4 pm. To RSVP for this training, please contact the receptionist at 212/674-2300 or If you need an accommodation, let the receptionist know. For ASL interpreters, let us know one week in advance. We cannot guarantee accommodations like ASL interpreters if we do not have advanced notice. 

November 7

  • General Election – VOTE!
  • Help Make Polling Sites Accessible For All New Yorkers

    Center for the Independence of the Disabled, NY (CIDNY) has over 35 years of advocating for people with disabilities. Our efforts have brought about important changes. There is more work to be done and we need your help! We need volunteers in every borough. You will receive training on surveying polling sites. The training will take place at our Manhattan office (841 Broadway, Suite 301, New York, NY 10003) on October 19th from 2 – 4 pm.  

    You will be teamed up with another volunteer to complete the survey forms. This involves measuring ramps, doorways, and entrance lips. Each team is assigned approximately 5 sites in close proximity to where you live.