NYC Official Voter Guide Now Includes American Sign Language Interpretations


NYC Votes announces the launch of the city’s official Voter Guide for the 2019 general election. The NYC Votes Voter Guide is available in print and online. For the first time, the candidate video statements in the 
online Voter Guide include American Sign Language interpretations, making the Guide more accessible to the more than 200,000 New Yorkers who are Deaf or hard-of-hearing.
The Voter Guide provides comprehensive information about the five ballot proposals that voters will be deciding in this election. Voters may visit Voting.NYC and click "Read the Voter Guide" for information about the candidates in each race and the five ballot initiatives.
Early voting is available in New York for the first time starting on Saturday, October 26 through Sunday, November 3. Election Day is on Tuesday, November 5. Each voter is assigned to vote at a specific early voting poll site. Early voting poll sites may differ from the Election Day poll site. Go to Voting.NYC and click on "Where to Vote” to find your early voting and Election Day poll sites.

NYC Votes worked with the Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities and Democracy NYC to include picture-in-picture American Sign Language interpretations within the video statements from the candidates who chose to participate (see sample below).

Click here to open a sample of the newly interpreted videos.

"Increasing access to essential voter information, particularly for underrepresented communities like Deaf and hard-of-hearing New Yorkers, is a core part of our mission at the Campaign Finance Board," said Eric Friedman, the Assistant Executive Director for Public Affairs for the NYC Campaign Finance Board & NYC Votes. "We're thankful to the Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities and Democracy NYC for working with us to implement these American Sign Language interpretations so all New Yorkers are empowered to cast a ballot that counts."
“Voting should be the easiest thing for all New Yorkers,” said Nisha Agarwal, a Senior Advisor on DemocracyNYC. “But often, for people with disabilities, there are barriers that prevent them from exercising the right to vote. For that reason, I am thrilled to work with MOPD and CFB and many advocates in the disability community to introduce American Sign Language Voter Guides. For the first time, people who are Deaf or hard-of-hearing can view the guides in their language on candidates and ballot measures so that everyone, including people with disabilities, can speak loudly with pride and be heard.”
“Voting and participating in the political process is a civil right. All New Yorkers—including individuals who are Deaf—should have candidate information in their native language,” said Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities Commissioner Victor Calise. “MOPD was happy to work with DemocracyNYC and the Campaign Finance Board to add American Sign Language interpretation to the Video Voter Guides and we look forward to continuing to make voting and civic engagement accessible to New Yorkers with disabilities.”

The NYC Votes Voter Guide includes profiles for each of the candidates who submitted materials, including their top three issues and experience in professional and public life.
The guide provides comprehensive information about the ballot proposals from the 2019 Charter Revision Commission. The online guide includes statements submitted by members of the public expressing either support for or opposition to each of the five ballot proposals. Statements may still be submitted for inclusion in the online Guide. The deadline to submit a statement is Friday, October 4.
Gail Benjamin, Chair of the 2019 NYC Charter Revision Commission, said, “It’s vital that we work to make sure all New Yorkers are aware of their opportunity to shape the future of the city. The Commission has completed a top-to-bottom review of our city’s constitution and written five ballot questions that reflect modern challenges facing New Yorkers. The voter guide is a primer on the questions that voters will face, and the varying opinions that New Yorkers have about them.”

The print voter guide will be mailed to registered voters in the coming weeks, unless they previously opted to go paperless and receive information about NYC elections via email. New Yorkers may opt out of receiving the print voter guide for future elections here.

NYC Votes publishes an online Voter Guide for every city election. The Guides include the name of each candidate expected to be on the ballot at the time of publication. The profiles and photos are submitted by the candidates, all of whom must affirm that the information provided is true to the best of their knowledge. Candidates without profile information or photos did not respond to multiple requests to participate.

Voter Registration and Absentee Ballot Deadlines
Eligible New Yorkers who have not previously registered to vote must mail in a voter registration form by October 11 and the form must be received by the Board of Elections by October 16 in order to vote in this election. New Yorkers may register in-person at a Board of Elections office up until October 26. A change of address for the general election must be received by October 16.

The last day to postmark an application for an absentee ballot is October 29. The last day to apply for an absentee ballot in person is November 4. The last day to postmark a completed absentee ballot is November 4, and the ballot must be received by the Board of Elections by no later than November 12. Voters may deliver an absentee ballot in person to the Board of Elections by close of polls on Election Day. 

NYC Votes is the nonpartisan voter engagement initiative of the New York City Campaign Finance Board (CFB) and its Voter Assistance Advisory Committee (VAAC). In addition to promoting voter registration, participation, and civic engagement in New York City through its many programs and partnerships, NYC Votes sponsors the city’s official Debate Program and produces the citywide Voter Guide.