(NEW YORK, N.Y., 9/12/17) — The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), a leading Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today expressed concern that the New York City Board of Election failed to establish any polling places in mosques or Muslim community centers.
As it was widely reported last year, New York City uses numerous churches and synagogues for polling sites, but not a single Muslim house of worship.
Starting last year, CAIR-NY began a series of meetings with city officials about the matter, including top officials at the Board of Elections. Earlier this year, CAIR-NY recruited five mosques to serve as polling sites, but none were used as polling sites for today’s election.
CAIR-NY is calling on the Board of Elections to correct this significant oversight in time for next year’s election. The omission comes despite the board’s decision to reallocate more than 20 percent of the city’s polling places for the 2017 election cycle.
“Welcoming diversity and inclusion in NYC must go further than rhetoric,” said CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher. “Exerting efforts to ensure every community is civically engaged is a real demonstration of our City’s commitment to pluralism. The BOE has this opportunity by utilizing mosques as polling sites, and CAIR-NY will continue to advocate for such measures until it is a reality.”
“Our city’s polling places must represent the diversity of its voters,” said CAIR-NY Legal Director Albert Fox Cahn. “Muslim Americans are one of the fastest growing voting blocks in our city, and we must make sure that our polling places are open and accessible to all. We are grateful to the community leaders who offered to open their spaces on election day, and we only hope their offer is taken-up in the future.”
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
La misiÃ³n de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensiÃ³n mutua.
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