Last week’s primary voting in New York City was a complete debacle – as the city’s Board of Elections botched everything from polling locations opening late because of ‘lost keys,’ to missing equipment, to unannounced relocations of voting sites, to a lack of Republican ballots across at least three Big Apple election sites.
“We showed up to the poll site in Brooklyn, we showed up at 5 a.m. … and there was no key,” Spencer Mestel, a freelance writer, told the New York Post on Tuesday afternoon, adding that he saw poll workers turn away an elderly woman with a walker because they couldn’t get in.
“The police officer on site didn’t have a key, the Board of Elections didn’t give [the site coordinator] a key, I watched her call the Board of Election multiple times … [but] no one helped us,” added the journalist who has served as a NYC election worker for the past decade.
The building was eventually unlocked at 7:30 a.m. by the building’s superintendent – more than 90 minutes after voters should have been able to start casting ballots.
Meanwhile, the Board of Elections failed to deliver equipment to one south Brooklyn location.
It's 6:30 AM on election day and my poll site at PS 15 in Red Hook is not open because @BOENYC has not brought them equipment and they don't know how long it will be. Voters are getting turned away.
— Molly Moser (@MollyMoser6) June 28, 2022
And at PS 22 in Crown Heights, New Yorkers weren’t able to vote before work, because of a “technical emergency!” according to a photo shared on Twitter by activist and writer Stephen Lurie. -NY Post
Far poorer cities in far poorer countries regularly run efficient elections where everyone can vote.
The politicians and cronies of New York City and the state *choose* our local democracy to be this bad.
— Stephen Lurie (@luriethereal) June 28, 2022
Also disturbing – polling locations had been changed without the BOE informing anyone.
Thanks @BOENYC for changing my polling place without notifying me turnout was already gonna be great today
— Reed Dunlea (@ReedDunlea) June 28, 2022
The BOE’s response? Election day had gone “very smoothly” and voters had been notified of site changes.
“If a human error occurs, it’s regretful and, in large measure, we correct immediately,” said BOE deputy executive director, Vinny Ignizio. “All told, we’ll run eight elections this year and this primary election has run very smoothly.”
Speaking of human error – at least three NYC election sites told voters they had no Republican ballots, according to the Post.
One voter, Ed Gavin, 62, arrived at his Bronx polling site in Spuyten Duyvil around 8:15 a.m. to cast his vote for GOP gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino but after checking in with a poll worker, he was handed a Democratic ballot instead, he said. -NYP
“My party never came up, my political preferences were never discussed … I opened the sleeve and I saw the names of Tom Suozzi, Kathy Hochul and Jumaane Williams. These were all Democrats for governor,” said Gavin, a retired Department of Correction deputy warden. “I flipped it over because I thought maybe the Republicans were on the back but there were no Republicans.”
“They told me ‘we don’t have any Republican ballots,'” he added. “I said to the gentleman, ‘that is very concerning.’”
The Post verified the lack of Republican ballots at the polling site Gavin visited.
“We couldn’t find the ballots earlier, but we have them now,” said a poll worker.
Gavin was pissed..
“This is the most important gubernatorial election of my lifetime because crime is on the ballot, bail reform is on the ballot, criminal justice is on the ballot,” he said, adding “[Former Gov. Andrew] Cuomo essentially ruined this state … with the state of the city right now, we need a Republican in power.”
After he reported the problem to the BoE, a rep said they would “correct it immediately.”
Republican strategist Candice Giove had the same thing happen in Bushwick, Brooklyn around 11 a.m.
“I was handed a Democratic ballot and I realized when I opened the folder and I saw Kathy Hochul’s name,” she told the Post, adding that she told the poll worker ‘I’m not a Democrat, I’m a Republican,’ to which the poll worker replied, “We don’t have any Republican ballots.”
After they went back and looked, workers found a stack of Republican ballots “shrink wrapped under a bunch” of other things – after which she was able to cast her vote.
The list goes on:
Harlem resident Eric Larsen, a registered Republican, told The Post an election worker provided him with a Democratic Primary ballot, before falsely insisting a Republican Primary wasn’t being held Tuesday.
A different staffer then apologized, acknowledged the existence of the GOP primary, and scrambled to find a Republican ballot in a cabinet.
“I know that Central Harlem is predominantly Democratic, but I found it hard to believe that a polling location even in a mostly Democratic location wouldn’t have had enough Republican ballots by the middle of the day on primary day,” said Larsen, who works in finance. “I did eventually get one … [but] they gave me a hard time.” -NY Post
In short, levels of ‘human error’ are once again off the charts.