NYC last week’s primary voting was a complete fiasco. The city’s Board of Elections botched everything from missing equipment, to polling locations opening late because of ‘lost keys,’ unannounced relocations of voting sites, and a lack of Republican ballots in at least three Big Apple election sites.
Spencer Mestel, a freelance writer, told the New York Post on Tuesday; “We showed up to the poll site in Brooklyn, we showed up at 5 a.m. … and there was no key.” He added that he saw poll workers turn away an old 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 finally unlocked at 7:30 a.m. by the building’s superintendent. More than 90 minutes after voters would have been able to start casting ballots.
In the meantime, the Board of Elections failed to deliver equipment to one south Brooklyn location.
And at PS 22 in Crown Heights, New Yorkers were not able to vote before work, because of a “technical emergency!” according to a photo shared on Twitter by activist and writer Stephen Lurie.
Also upsetting – polling locations were changed without the BOE informing anyone.
And the BOE’s response? Election Day had gone “very smoothly” and voters were notified of site changes.
BOE deputy executive director, Vinny Ignizio said; “If a human error occurs, it’s regretful and, in large measure, we correct immediately. All told, we’ll run eight elections this year and this primary election has run very smoothly.”
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. After checking in with a poll worker, he was handed a Democratic ballot instead.
“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. 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. I said to the gentleman, ‘that is very concerning.’”
The Post verified the lack of Republican ballots at the polling site that Gavin visited.
One of the poll workers said; “We couldn’t find the ballots earlier, but we have them now.”
In Bushwick, Brooklyn, the same thing happened to Republican strategist Candice Giove 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. I 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.”
Later, the workers found a stack of Republican ballots “shrink wrapped under a bunch” of other things – and then she was able to cast her vote.
Eric Larsen, Harlem resident, a registered Republican, said that election worker provided him with a Democratic Primary ballot, before dishonestly claiming a Republican Primary wasn’t being held Tuesday.
A different staffer then approached, apologized, and acknowledged the existence of the GOP primary. He then went 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. “I did eventually get one … [but] they gave me a hard time.”
This story originally appeared on nypost.com