Voting Problems Continue to Plague New York’s Elections

Voting in New York City today is special.
A broken machine that allows voters to cast their vote for multiple mayoral candidates.

The New York City Board of Elections has a pretty miserable reputation, which only grew worse after significant problems roiled last November’s presidential election, forcing many voters to wait in line for hours.

Unsurprisingly, today’s citywide primary election doesn’t seem to be going much better, with New Yorkers across the city reporting widespread incidences of broken voting machines and misinformed poll workers, causing some to be turned away in their attempt to participate in the democratic process.

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Missing Machines, Misinformation and Long Lines: Election Day Off to a Rocky Start in NYC

voting crown heights Missing Machines, Misinformation and Long Lines: Election Day Off to a Rocky Start in NYC
Voting in Crown Heights (Photo: @sarahljaffe)

“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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Election Day Gets Chaotic in Areas Impacted by Sandy

rockaway voting Election Day Gets Chaotic in Areas Impacted by Sandy
A voting site in the Rockaways. (photo: @joshingnyc)

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.

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