Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Early Problems at a Park Slope Polling Place

We thought we'd pass along a comment left by a GL reader that encountered a less than ideal situation when trying to vote this morning. Our reader writes:
Voting chaos! I went to vote this morning at my polling place in Park Slope (8th Ave and 13th St) and was met by absolute chaos. After giving the woman at the front desk my address, she sent me to booth 17. The woman in line in front of me at 17 was sent in to vote w/the wrong card (Dem rather than Rep; no one had asked her what party she was registered with) and none of the volunteers or the coordinator knew what to do to solve the situation. They couldn't find me in the books at 17, and after reverifying my address, sent me to 14. At 14, the woman in front of me (who had likewise voted at this location last year) wasn't found on the books. They sent her to 13. They couldn't find me either, and sent me to 13. At 13, they could find neither of us. I was sent back to the front, where the woman barked "I don't make mistakes!" But she does! When she rechecked my address, she told me to go to 14. At that point, I decided it was best to leave and come back after work with hopes that the second shift is more competent than the first. Is it legal for polling places to be staffed with untrained, incompetent volunteers?
Hopefully, it's just an isolated problem, but we thought it was worth passing along. The location of your local polling place is available by clicking here.

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18 Comments:

Anonymous Rula Lenska said...

the people who work in polling places in NYC are generally unemployable. They got their job because somebody worked on somebody's campaign and begged them to get their retard drug addict a job. One of the perks in a one party town. Enjoy!

9:44 AM  
Anonymous Rula Lenska said...

P.S. these people aren't volunteers.
They're paid professionals.

9:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I voted at the school on 6th Avenue off Berkely - the poll workers (who are paid a small amt.) were friendly and compentant. No one seemed to be having any issues although some districts were more crowded than others.

10:15 AM  
Blogger The Vidiot said...

Having been a poll worker in Brooklyn, I can tell you that yes, it is standard operating procedure to hire the grossly incompetent. Not all of them are incompetent, but the vast majority are.

Oh, and there's no second shift (yes, they work from 5am to until the votes are counted with only a few short breaks). But hopefully, by the afternoon, they've figured out how to do at least a part of their job. Hopefully.

But it's not just their fault, the whole BOE is a mess. Though, frankly, it is sociologically fascinating.

11:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Same issues at PS 261 in Boerum Hill -- I voted at about 6:30 this morning and they seemed overwhelmed by the small number of people waiting to cast their ballots. They insisted I go to the Dist. 66 table even though my form clearly stated Dist. 67 and assumed my party affiliation once I got there.

12:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

rula lenska -- love the anger but you are incorrect about the working of polling stations and the makeup of the workers.

i hope you pulled the lever for romney, though.

2:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My voting machine was broken. The poll workers had no idea what to do because they "never used paper ballots before". I marked my ballot and it was thrown into a paper cardboard box they found on the floor. What year is this? Will my vote count?

4:54 PM  
Anonymous shmuel in the slope said...

Hey Rula Lenska -

I know it's fun to bash the Democratic Party machine in NYC, but at least be informed. Sorry to break it to you, but the head of the NYC Board of Elections is a Republican aparatchik from the Giuliani cloth.
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/01/nyregion/01lives.html?scp=3&sq=board+of+elections&st=nyt

5:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope you voted for Romney, too, rula... wasted vote.

6:03 PM  
Blogger Russell said...

I just got back from PS 165 on W. 109th Street in Manhattan, 82nd electoral district. I had moved to Manhattan half a year ago, promptly filed a change of party affiliation so that I could vote in the Republican primary (Ron Paul, of course) and received a reply card acknowledging my paperwork had been received and processed in a timely manner.

I had been sent from another polling station on campus (Columbia University) after my address had been looked up, and had a "referral slip" to that end. I was sent to station 67, where my name was not found in their book. The officious woman dealing with me sent me to another person who insisted I was in no book, and that I needed to return home, bring back evidence of my residence, and then fill out a manual voter registration form.

I knew this was bogus, said so, and was referred to the only apparently knowledgeable person there, a supervisor who immediately recognized that since I was on the south side of my particular street, I was to vote at station 77 instead. My name was in the book, to my relief.

The Republican poll watcher handling me must have been suffering from polling fatigue, since he first filled out a green card for me, which is for Democrats; when I told him his mistake, he filled out a red Republican card, with the name of the elderly Hispanic lady standing next to me! Two cards to rip up and dispose of later. Not exactly confidence-inspiring.

6:32 PM  
Blogger plastic said...

i voted at the 6th ave and berkeley local today and it went fine but it is a little weird to see workers sleeping on the job...

7:14 PM  
Anonymous Barack and proud!!!! said...

I don't mean to be rude, but if you have your voting card it tells you... also if you vote every six months ( every election) you tend to remember the precinct you vote and the election workers even remember you.

The chaos is self important big election voters who expect to have their hands held.

9:29 PM  
Blogger Russell said...

I don't know if "Barack and proud" addressed his last comment to me, but if so: 1.) I moved here 5 months ago from California, and promptly registered and 2.) I was never sent my voter's card, just my acknowledgment of change of party affiliation. So, it doesn't matter if you didn't "mean" to be rude, your words carried assumption, passed judgment based on assumption, and hence you were rude despite your proviso.

10:24 PM  
Anonymous Rula Lenska said...

My dear Schmuel in the slope, You actually prove my point. It takes a Republican with a taser to control the prols. I hear each of them gets a free box of Depends!

I'd pull Mitt's lever any day and often too!

12:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Look, we could be voting in some foreign country where proof is a blue ink pad and a blue thumb. I had no problems at my poll station on Hoyt street. Same bag o biddies but no problems. When I needed to vote absentee 4 years ago, I never got my absentee ballot. When I returned home, it had been sent to MY BROOKLYN ADDRESS!! Uh? Hello? Guess too cheap to but an airmail stamp..

9:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Folks, the solution here is simple. Avoid the chaos and vote absentee. Just lie and say you'll be out of town. It's against the law, but nobody's ever been punished for it.

Consider it an act of civil disobediance -- if the state can't find a way to run elections on weekends when it's easier for everyone or do the whole thing by mail the way they do it in Oregon, then we should all lie and vote absentee, in the way that is most convenient for us under the current system.

1:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I voted at PS 282 on 6th Ave and Berkeley Place in Park Slope yesterday and DID have problems. The lady was nice enough and wasn't stupid, she just couldn't find my name on the list. When I have voted there 3 times before. While I was filling out a provisional ballot, the next 4 people in a row that walked up to the table also found their names weren't on the list. That's highly suspicious in my view. It can't be coincidence.

2:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I voted in Boerum Hill and my name wasn't on the list either and I had to fill out a paper ballot, even though a couple of weeks ago I called the hotline to make sure my change of address form had been processed and they EXPRESSLY TOLD ME that everything was in order. Suspicious! The woman behind me wasn't on the list either, and she seemed mistified.

4:27 PM  

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