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.”

But the problems extend far beyond Hurricane Sandy’s path of devastation. Wendy Long, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, sent out a press release describing her woes while voting in Manhattan.

“This morning when I went to vote, a poll worker who was at the scanner, studied my private ballot and proceeded to tell me that it was rejected because I did not ‘fill in every space,'” she said in a statement. “She then proceeded to indicate that I should mark the Democratic line all the way down. The poll worker said, ‘you have to fill in all of THESE, all the way down,” indicating the whole line at the far left of the ballot, saying ‘you can’t leave any blank.'”

Additionally, Councilman Jumaane Williams, who represents a neighborhood in Central Brooklyn, described even more chaos on his Twitter page:

From anecdotes and reports elsewhere across the city:

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