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Voting Rights

Brooklyn NAACP Achieves Victory in Lawsuit Against NY Line Warming Ban

Statement of L. Joy Williams, President, Brooklyn NAACP
“I am elated to share that we have successfully challenged New York State’s line warming ban, securing a critical victory for voter rights. The line warming ban prohibited the distribution of food and water to voters waiting in line at the polls. The U.S. District Court’s decision overturning this ban reaffirms our belief that every voter deserves the dignity of support while exercising their right to vote.

While this victory is a significant milestone, our work is far from over. After learning of our victory, we immediately began discussing ways we can provide comfort and support to voters for 2024 voter mobilization efforts. Additionally, we will continue to monitor and challenge any policies that threaten voter rights and work tirelessly to ensure that every voice is heard.”

In September 2021, Brooklyn NAACP filed a lawsuit against New York State challenging -warming ban, which prohibits nonpartisan groups from providing food and drink to voters waiting in line. Our amended complaint alleged that the ban violates the First and 14th Amendments because it is overbroad, vague, places unconstitutional restrictions on free speech and the political process and criminalizes protected free speech, burdening the plaintiff’s right to participate in the political process, and it is unconstitutionally overbroad and vague.

Earlier this year, the presiding judge denied the state’s motion to dismiss allowing the lawsuit to move forward. The trial was set for March 4, 2024 at the Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse, 40 Foley Square, New York, NY 10007.
In April 2024, the City Board of Elections and the State Board of elections proposed findings and conclusions of law.


RESULT: On May 30, 2024, the U.S. Southern district court struck down the line warming ban.