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“We have some other type of crisis here, partially organized by Hurricane Sandy, partially organized by the Board of Elections,” Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny told Politicker this morning, ticking off poll sites that did not receive machines until 8:04 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. respectively, over an hour after they were scheduled to open. “My question is, if they knew, if the Board of Elections knew yesterday this was the poll site that would be assigned today, were they sleeping this morning? It disenfranchises many people.”
We asked if there might be a possibility of a re-do election.
“That is a possibility, I think,” he answered, noting all of the Hurricane Sandy-induced chaos was in the Democratic parts of his district. “I have two parts of the district. Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights, which is conservative, and Coney Island and Sea Gate, which is much more liberal, and I’m a Democrat….This is all becoming totally ridiculous. This is not about me, of course. This is about 40,000 voters losing the right to vote.”
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The Coney Island neighborhood of Brooklyn was among the hardest-hit areas by Hurricane Sandy last week and the storm’s impact is being felt as voters head to the polls today. As a result of the hurricane damage, many of Coney Island’s poll sites were changed, but according to reports on the scene, the Election Day chaos in the neighborhood sounds far worse than the planned changes.
“PS 370, which is supposed to be the ‘super’ Coney Isand poll site, there are areas where they don’t have the books to sign in, so people have to vote via affidavit,” one operative on the ground told Politicker. “Every poll site got up late. They don’t even have real police officers here, they have the recruits, police academy. They have no clue what to do, they’ve never done it before. Every site got off late because police academy got off late to open up. One of the new sites….it’s supposed to be a site, but the machines aren’t there.”
This account was echoed by other reports in Coney Island, and similar tales of voting issues in the Rockaways, which was also devastated by the hurricane.
Coney Island, including its iconic amusement park and boardwalk, was hit incredibly hard by Hurricane Sandy along with the rest of Brooklyn’s southern coast. Politicker ventured into the area today, a journey that took us on sand-covered streets without working traffic lights, and saw broken rides and damage on Surf Avenue, which was flooded with waterthat reached a depth of at least four feet.
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At last night’s State of the Borough address, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz took some time to reiterate his call for a new casino in the Coney Island neighborhood.
“I’m not talking about turning Coney Island into Atlantic City, that’s not what I’m not suggesting,” he said, before pivoting into one of his many jokes of the evening. “Although I look forward to setting my DVR to recording the smash HBO drama Coney Island Boardwalk Empire.”
Councilman Domenic Recchia Jr. represents the 47th District, which includes Coney Island, and he has a few concerns about the proposal to put a casino there if Governor Cuomo is successful in his attempt to lift the statewide ban on gambling.
“Everybody’s jumping to put a casino in Coney Island and I’m just saying, ‘Whoah, let’s talk about this,” Councilman Recchia said.
State Senator Diane Savino is not pleased with GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney. After watching Mr. Romney’s New Hampshire victory speech, Senator Savino wrote a Facebook post saying, “I sometimes hate this frigging business.” The Politicker talked to Senator Savino this morning to find out why she found Mr. Romney’s speech “offensive” and to get her thoughts on the prospect of a casino in Coney Island, which is part of her seat in the 23rd District.
Senator Savino described Mr. Romney’s speech as “the worst kind of gutter politics.”
“He made direct statements accusing the President of exploiting the politics of envy, the statement that President Obama does not care about America, that President Obama is a socialist. It was really the worst kind of gutter politics,” Senator Savino said. “You want to disagree with President Obama? Fine, but stop trying to insinuate or overtly state that he’s un-American. That’s what I took offense to.”