State Attorney General Letitia James has sued the Rensselaer County Board of Elections and its commissioners, alleging they repeatedly denied Black, Hispanic and lower-income communities access to early voting sites in Troy, the county’s government seat and largest city.

Filed in County Supreme Court, the suit seeks a court order forcing the board of elections (BOE) to select a site that provides Troy voters access to early voting ahead of the June primary election.

The board has continuously declined to offer additional or alternative voting sites, despite calls from the attorney general's office and local advocacy groups, James said.

She says the county violated state voting law by failing to provide adequate and equitable access to early voting sites and ignoring criteria for determining poll sites.

“Our vote is one of the most powerful tools we have in our democracy, and it is the responsibility of government to ensure that every person with the right to vote is able to do so without hardship,” James said. “The Rensselaer County BOE has repeatedly refused to make early voting sites widely accessible to residents, unlawfully denying low-income and communities of color fair and equal opportunity to vote.”

“The filing of Attorney General James’ lawsuit against the Rensselaer County Board of Elections is timely and needed,” said Renée Powell, president of the NAACP Troy Branch. “For more than three years, members of the community have communicated with BOE to explain the hardship caused by their selected early voting sites.”