City Limits: COVID Saps Efforts to Increase Voter Registration

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City Limits - New voter registration across New York City has dropped by nearly half in 2020 compared to the last presidential election year in 2016.

Between January and June, only about 80,000 people registered to vote across the city, compared to 155,000 people during the same period in 2016, according to the city’s Campaign Finance Board, which regulates money in politics and promotes voter registration. , .

**Surmounting age and language barriers
**Judy Lei, voting rights organizer at the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), says the organization registered newly naturalized citizens at the Southern District Courthouse every Friday. Typically AALDEF would register about a third of those in attendance, she says.

Lei says that in-person registrations are important because volunteers can clear up any confusion potential voters may have about the process. . .

Shirley Ng, a staffer at AALDEF, has been registering voters in person in Manhattan’s Chinatown, an effort to make up for the lack of public events. On three occasions over the past six weeks, she has set up a small table on Bayard Street to pull in new voters. On each of those occasions, she signed up about 10 people. About half of those people were new voters and the other half address changes, she says. . . .