Informal, Unofficial, Thoroughly Unscientific NY Primary Exit Poll

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Throughout the show listeners call in to share how they voted.

Comments [22]

Aly from NY

Had a terrible time trying to vote. Should have known it would have been a struggle when I got there - polls were open but no one was voting, line to sign in wasn't moving. The machine wasn't ready.

I had to ASK for a privacy sleeve. It should have been automatically given to me with my ballot. Markers in the privacy booth would smudge when you put the ballot in the privacy folder. This rejected my ballot and I had to get a new one.

Everyone saw my ballot when I scanned and then again when my rejected ballot was brought to the sign in desk. I handed it in and it was folded - but then some other poll worker opened it back up and looked at. She left it open for all to see until they gave me a new one.

While filling out my new ballot - careful not to smear the ink - I heard poll workers advising each other not to hand out privacy sleeves because it messes up the ink.

The lack of privacy was unbelievable.

Additionally - they wrote down my ballot number on a lined piece of paper. (They crossed off my number when I handed in my rejected ballot. Then wrote the new one down). To my knowledge, they only need to know your voter number: for example: If I was first in line, I would be voter number 1........but why would they have to keep track of exactly which ballot I voted with???? That seemed sketchy to me...and again I felt like I lost my privacy.

Like a few others who commented, I too had to state my political party. I wasn't too fond of that. Not sure why other commenters said that you can tell by the color of people's cards - no one had cards in my polling place. You knew someone's political party because you could hear them say it.

Honestly, this whole process feels like a step-down. All that money invested into this new system and we're using PAPER? They should have used it towards a touch screen voting...that would at least be moving forward with technology.

Sep. 15 2010 11:18 AM
Peter from Washington Heights, Manhattan

I voted in Election District 73 around 9:30 this morning. It was VERY quiet. Apart from the radically different appearance of the polling place due to the lack of the old voting machines and the presence of the new privacy booths and scanners, all seemed orderly. There were two scanners, but I was advised by a poll judge to use a certain one because the other "wasn't working so well."

Sep. 14 2010 04:46 PM

Wow. We've been voting this way for years in New Hampshire without issues or complaints. It's really not supposed to be that hard.

Sep. 14 2010 04:11 PM
Carol Lower East Side from Lower East Side, Manhattan

There was much milling about the voter table by the poll workers. To myself I said, " Oh no, the lady I see on the street with the lipstick applied all outside the lines of her mouth is the one looking you up in the voter book. One poll worker who was not doing much of anything, commented on how a Republican had finally shown up, the man in a motorized vehicle ahead of me. (It's a good thing there aren't any Communists on the ballot, because everyone would know if you were a Communist.) It took a long time for one poll worker to get the old man in the vehicle his ballot. Then he backed up -- almost over my foot. I took my paper ballot over to the "privacy booth and filled it in. Then I went to step two, the scanner. The woman in front of me had her ballot rejected. They folded it in half and gave her another one. I asked the poll worker which side you inserted "up" in the scanner. He said it did not matter. I put my ballot in and it was rejected. The poll worker took a good look at my ballot to see if I had filled it in correctly. Second try -- accepted. It's a silly, inefficient process put in place by the stupid idiots in Albany.

Sep. 14 2010 02:56 PM
Polly from Columbus Circle

At my polling place in the Coliseum Park Apartments co-op behind the Time Warner building there were only three other voters present at 1:30. The scanning machine for ED 110 was down. We are really back to paper ballots

Sep. 14 2010 01:35 PM
holly from Clifton Park, NY

I just got back from voting and I am not happy with this new ballot. Definitely very UN-green! What's with the huge piece of paper and the micro-print?? The ballot was unwieldy (larger than legal size paper), hard to read, the sections weren't very well defined, and I almost missed filling in a selection. Then, after you are done filling in the bubbles you have to go over to the tallying machine and have your ballot inserted and registered. This is going to be a nightmare in November!

Sep. 14 2010 12:49 PM
Smokey from LES

I was the only one at 11:00 AM this morning at voting district 44 (East 1 Street). Filling out the form and scanning it took about 3 minutes and couldn't have been easier.

The registrar took longer to find my name in the book than the voting process itself - she didn't seem very familiar with alphabetical order.

The new paper system is not as private as the old booth. We still have no idea how our vote is machine counted - a scanner is a computer as much as a touch screen computer. I think we could have gone with touch-screen computers that produced a paper receipt that we could approve and place in a box that would be used if a recount were needed. The paper system seems a bit more retro than we needed to go. But it seems to work so I guess I'm OK with it.

Sep. 14 2010 12:42 PM

that's not right that she's voting out of her district. There's a reason we're zoned.

Sep. 14 2010 11:54 AM
John from Nyack

I am not voting for Brodsky because of his strong opposition to the congestion pricing plan for Manhattan. I will vote for Schneiderman

Sep. 14 2010 11:12 AM
Mark from Mount Vernon

Poll workers know if your a Democrat or Republican, others nearby can tell from the color of your card. Why the paranoia about anyone seeing your ballot? No one cares who you voted for.

Sep. 14 2010 10:47 AM
RCT from Chappaqua, NY

Just to add that I agree w/ Sonia from Brooklyn -- the old machines were more fun, and you could teach your kid to vote. My son has "voted" in ever election since he was 18 months old -- first for Mom or Dad, and then on his own when he reached 18, three years ago. It was a very sweet experience, and taught good citizenship. We can't really ask them to fill out the ballots -- all those bubbles, the No. 2 pencils -- too much like school!

Sep. 14 2010 10:44 AM
sonia from Brooklyn

The voter before me had problems with his ballot; he apparently 'over voted' and filled in too many bubbles and the scanner wouldn't accept his sheet. This caused a prolonged discussion between the poll workers, who looked at who he voted for and pointed out that he filled in too many bubbles (one asked him if he even knew who all those candidates were). He completed a new sheet and, with the help of at least two poll workers, resubmitted his scan successfully.

I didn't have the same problems but privacy is definitely a concern.

I also miss the 'chunk-clunk' of the old machines. It made voting fun for my 6 year old, who pulled the leaver for me.

Sep. 14 2010 10:42 AM
RCT from Chappaqua, NY

I strongly suggest that, even if you were not planning to vote in today's primary, you do so anyway, so as to learn how to use the new ballot. You'll save a lot of time in November, for yourself and other voters, if you learn the system today.

Sep. 14 2010 10:42 AM
RCT from Westchester

I voted in Chappaqua, in New Castle (Westchester County). The poll watcher asked me to place my paper ballot in a plastic folder, with the edge of the ballot protruding. The ballot was then fed into the machine, edge first, so that it was pulled out of the folder by the machine, and the poll watcher never saw my votes. I assume that, at some point, we'll all be feeding our own ballots into the machines, with no poll watcher assistance, and won't need the folders.

Filling out the ballot is easy; like taking a standardized test (the "pencils" are provided). I was also told by the pollster that the machines are programmed to reject double-votes and other errors, so that there won't be any Florida 2000-like catastrophes.

Sep. 14 2010 10:39 AM
Will from Brooklyn

I was one of only a handful of voters at my polling station when I arrived at 7 this morning. The poll workers were all really nice and obviously trying hard to make sure everything went smoothly. But, I could sense some problems developing:
- My ballot scanned, but a woman in front of me had to make several attempts.
- The back-up machine was not working.
-The poll workers operating the machine and taking voting cards seemed a bit confused and certainly unable to respond to any potential problems. If the one scanner at my location got stuck or whatever, I wasn't confident anyone there would be able to take even basic steps to fix it.

Hope things go well!

Sep. 14 2010 10:38 AM
Doug from West Villlage

I voted in Westbeth at 6:20. Completed form, walked to scanner, inserted it, system said my vote was counted. No one looked over my shoulder, no one watch me put ballot into scanner.

Sep. 14 2010 10:35 AM
Anne from Chelsea 10011

I am 40, a college graduate and I have great vision. I found the paper ballots to be EXTREMELY confusing and difficult to read. The design is very difficult to understand. The ballot we used is broken into 4 columns. The first two are fairly easy to understand and state (in extremely small print) to "choose one" in each column. However the third and fourth columns are impossible to understand. At the top of each column it states "choose 12". There were then twelve names listed and then a new row with the words "GROUP" indicating a new section. In this new section were eleven names and then a section for write-ins. I asked four different people if I was supposed to vote for twelve in each section or twelve in the entire column and I got a four different answers. No one was clear and no one could say for sure what I should do. I opted to vote for twelve in total. I then submitted my ballot into the machine which I found easy to do. I am not sure I voted correctly and I only hope my vote will count. I think this ballot design is VERY unfair to the voters and to the candidates who spent so much time and money on their campaigns. It smells a little fishy. Who designed these ballots? Would be interesting to find out.

Sep. 14 2010 10:34 AM
Harlem Voter from Central Harlem

The pad of ballots could have been mfg better so that the poll workers did not have to struggle or be overly careful when removing the ballots.
The voting/marking station was satisfactory. Pens attached and working. The ballot font size could be enlarged.
The scanner was easy, and while I understand the privacy aspect (the poll worker was right next to the scanner and could read everything on the screen), I would like to have had some acknowledgment of my actual vote, not just a statement saying that my vote was cast.

Sep. 14 2010 10:34 AM
mary from Rockland

I live in Suffern, NY, Rockland. It took 4 tries for the scanner to accept my ballot. The poll watcher scanned the ballot to be sure it was filled out correctly. So much for privacy!

Sep. 14 2010 10:13 AM
Owen from West Village

All seems fairly straightforward and works pretty well, but two areas for improvement, one I have seen mentioned many times, and one I have not seen mentioned:

* After the scan, it would be good to see the result of the scan.

* The scanning machine is not protected from view the way the area is where you fill out the sheet. I gave the poll worker a hint that she should step away before I scan my ballot. There should be a shield.

Sep. 14 2010 10:11 AM
Peter Shire from Upper West Side

My lady friend who lives on 73rd nr. WEA., was the first person to vote but the ballot was the wrong size. By the time they straightened it out it took 25 min. Outrageous.

Sep. 14 2010 10:07 AM
Renee from Upper West Side

My observations about the new voting system:
- Most of the poll workers were very nice and trying their best, but one of the poll workers at my district's table was asleep.
- The ballot number (on the stub) had been stapled over in the pad of unused ballots, so when someone needed a new ballot, they had a hard time figuring out what number it was.
- The ballot is very easy to fill out, but there is that familiar standardized test anxiety that the mark may not be quite right.
- The "official" pens were not attached to the cord in the booth.
- The scanner worked very smoothly.
- I would not call this an automated voting system at all, but the scanned ballots must improve the processing.
- Not as much fun as the levers.

Sep. 14 2010 09:46 AM

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