By Paula Katinas, Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Bowing to demands from elected officials and voting rights activists, the New York City Board of Elections is printing ballots with bigger type that will be easier for voters to read when they go to the polls on Nov. 6.
The announcement that the printed ballots will contain a larger font size was applauded by lawmakers who had sounded the alarm over the type size and other issues related to voting problems.
Councilman Vincent Gentile (D-Bay Ridge) said he considered it a victory that the board had listened to the concerns and decided to make changes. The board announced the changes on Sept. 25.
Gentile said the font size will be upped from a 7-point typeface to a 9-point typeface for the general election in November.
“I applaud the Board of Elections for listening to the people and doing the right thing,” Gentile said. “While I still think the font needs to be larger – I would like to see a normal 12-point font on the ballots – this is a step in the right direction and a major victory to know the Board of Elections is listening and responding.”
The larger font size will make life a little easier for voters, particularly senior citizens, Gentile said.
“It is our responsibility as lawmakers to do everything we possibly can to strengthen and protect the right to vote. My district has one of the densest populations of seniors in all of New York City – many of whom have issues with their eyesight. This can turn Election Day into a nightmare,” Gentile said.
Last week Gentile stood with his colleagues Council Members Jumaane D. Williams (D-Flatbush) and Letitia James (D-Crown Heights) along with several good government groups on the steps of City Hall to sound the alarm on the widespread voting problems the lawmakers said occurred during this year’s primary election.
“Voting is a right that should not require a magnifying glass,” Gentile said last week. “Perhaps I'm living in the Twilight Zone, but I think rule #1 should be to print ballots that people can actually read. ”