Report from Your Polling Place (or Just Find Out Where It Is!)

Monday, November 01, 2010

»» Update: We've begun to compile some of our favorite text message responses. Check 'em out here. (And if you're super-inspired, you can also let NYC City Council know about your voting experience by filling out a survey here.)

After months of debate and campaigning, your moment of decision is finally coming. Help us capture the mood on election day: Cast your vote, then answer this one simple question: How do you feel?

Record your message with the iPhone app from The Takeaway. And if you want to do some reporting for us, ask the people around you the same question. Get the app and just follow the instructions (they're easy).

If you don't have an iPhone, you can do this on any other mobile phone. Just text the word DECIDE to 69866, and we'll send you a text reminder on Tuesday.

Don't know where you're polling place is? Just text back with your address and we'll reply with the location.

Or, enter your address here to find out.


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Comments [125]

Karen from UES NYC

Lovely, helpful staff at my polling location on E. 74th St. No problems at all at 8 this evening!

Nov. 02 2010 10:11 PM
Paul from Syosset, NY

Don't know what all the problems were today w/ voting. My wife and I had no problems...very simple process, pens in every privacy booth, ballot was clear..only issue is that you had to walk behind the other privacy booths, but since I wasn't on the take and didn't have to account to anyone for the way I or my wife voted the possibility of someone seeing how we voted didn't bother us.

Nov. 02 2010 09:20 PM
Anthony from East Village, NYC

Thank you Brian. I don't like electronic voting without a paper trail we can see (showing our vote has been cast correctly and can be used in any challenges) This is not good.

Of course cringed with Paladino and usually vote Democratic, but I could not vote for Andrew. I preferred the Green and even the Libertarian candidate.
I liked his dad alot. I went to campaign for this fellow with his first fun and discovered a very egocentric, arrogant, calculating, spoiled kid. I was very disappointed and have been very disappointed that this is who we came up with. I don't like this dynasty stuff.
Yes, I think the lack of Democratic enthusiasm had to do with our President not standing up enough with foreclosures, the war, banking, jobs, jobs, jobs, and health care, etc...

Nov. 02 2010 09:19 PM
Joanna from Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn

I voted earlier this evening in Bed-Stuy. The poll workers reminded me to turn over my ballot to vote on the propositions. They were scrupulous about staying in front of the privacy booths so as not to seem to be looking over anyone's shoulder. The poll worker at the scanners told me to take the card with the letters on it out myself so he didn't see my ballot. I fed it into the scanner myself--I didn't take it out of the folder at all. Then I handed the folder to the guy and left. Everyone was really nice. I had listened to the WNYC on how to fill out the ballot ("vote within the box") so I felt reassured I was doing it properly. The poll workers asked me if I felt confident about it and I said I had read the directions before coming and wanted to do it myself and I would ask them if I had any questions. But, gosh, that print is SMALL. I don't have reading issues but if I did I think it would have been quite difficult to vote.

Nov. 02 2010 08:36 PM
Melody from Nassau County, NY

An election night haiku: Scanner was busted / Voted in a canvas bag / Reboot election

Nov. 02 2010 08:30 PM

As usual, the election board had done its homework, scouring the area for the illiterate to work the polls. It amazed me that it took 5 people directing me to different booths to get my paper ballot.

Sitting at a schoolchild's lunch table with a lot of other people around to laboriously fill in the dots and then to have to wait in line again to have my huge paper ballot scanned paled compared to the almost sanctified ceremony of the truly private voting booth, and the great sense of finality when you pulled the heavy serious looking lever. That ka-roomff sound.

Instead of Awe, we get Awful.

Nov. 02 2010 08:28 PM
Andrea from Brooklyn

The privacy issue needs to be revisited. . . When I went to feed my ballot into the scanner, the polling person took it to scan it in herself. I know she was trying to be helpful, but it bothered me that people nearby could see how I voted.

Thanks to WNYC for mentioning the double sided ballot earlier in the day!

Nov. 02 2010 08:24 PM
BettyDiana from The Bronx, NY

I am scared about the prospect of a Republican/Tea Party return to power and so I ran to polling site as soon as I could and have encouraged my family and friends to do their civic duty (and vote Democrat or Working Party). The new system was relatively easy to negotiate but I had voted in the primary and I did read a voter guide that I received in the mail. So I knew what to do, which candidates to select, and to turn the ballot over for the referendum questions. The poll workers did not remind me about that. The majority of the poll workers appeared to be getting on-the-job training from the veterans. My only complaint is that the font was way too small. I had forgotten my reading glasses and had to rely on the magnifying glass(?) which did not work as well. In addition, the lighting in the cafeteria was poor. I did manage to complete my vote but as I stated above, only because I had done my homework. There were a few senior citizens who were complaining about the complexity of the new system. I would think that the new process can be daunting for either the elderly or the disabled.

Nov. 02 2010 06:51 PM
Kevin from Kevin From Pound Ridge District 1

Pound Ridge - in Northern Westchester County. As usual didn't have to wait at all. Never any lines in our small town. Didn't get any privacy folder for my ballot. The inspector was close to me at the booth and I politely asked her to give me some room. The process took longer than previous, but I am glad the new method allows for a paper trail.

Nov. 02 2010 06:02 PM
Andy from Brooklyn

A poll worker at my polling place was reminding people to vote for the proposition to legalize marijuana on the back of the ballot.

Apparently she thought this was California. Don't they brief the poll workers?

Nov. 02 2010 05:31 PM
bjroemer from manhattan

the best thing i can say about casting my vote today is that it was an adventure and a frightening example of the dumbing down of america. several people asked me to step into their voting "booths" to ahlp them figure out what and where to place their mark. they couldn't
read the tiny print and found the "magnifying glasses too much trouble. i easily could have led them to vote for MY chosen candidate....they were that confused. and all this in one of the more educated parts of town. the system is horrendous and none of the votes should be counted....wherever they are using a similar system. it's deplorable. i am even more depressed than i was. it's hopeless.

Nov. 02 2010 05:26 PM
Meg Kallman Feeley from Ditmas Park Brooklyn

Just called in to the Bd of Elections to report my poll worker in Brooklyn --who instructed me that "if I was a Democrat, vole all the way down column A; if I was a Republican, you vote all the way down column B" and that I could not "vote in more than one column." When I protested that her instructions seemed to have the likely effect of promoting the Democrats, at the expense of Working Families Party (not to mention the State Assemblywoman Rhoda Jacobs, who I had to switch back to the Dems to vote for) she insisted I misunderstood her. Arggh.

Nov. 02 2010 04:59 PM
C.R. from 10458

At my polling place in the Bronx, a poll worker was scanning the ballots at least through 9:30 am. She inspected my ballot and the sign-in card (with my name on it), wrote something on my card, then scanned my ballot.

The poll worker handed my husband a torn ballot. It obviously didn't scan. The worker at the scanning booth tried unsuccessfully to make the machine accept the torn ballot at least seven times before finally allowing him to use another ballot. The whole process attracted a lot of attention, and the poll workers didn't seem to know how scanners worked.

I prefer the old system.

Nov. 02 2010 04:39 PM
Norman from Brooklyn

The privacy issue is another booboo in this highly flawed election process.
When i went over to the scanner, the polling person insisted i take my ballot out of the folder so that it could be fed into the scanner. As the ballot is larger than and extends past the folder, I just placed it in from between the folder into the scanner.
The scanner just pulled it in from within the folder. In that way no one could see who i voted for.
No ballot should ever be displayed in a public voting process. That goes against the process of a secret ballot. Nonetheless (although we don't really have any secrets in this regard), voters are routinely required to humiliate themselves by fully revealing their ballot as part of the scanning process.
This is certainly another major procedural glitch in what can only be be viewed as an eminently questionable and perhaps even challengeable balloting process!

Nov. 02 2010 04:22 PM

Went at 3:30 to West 48th between 8th and 9th at the musicians union building. All went smoothly and I was told to look at both sides of the ballot. There wasn't a big turnout at this hour but there were still lines to register and a slight wait to scan. I fear what this would be like if it were a Presidential election.

Nov. 02 2010 04:15 PM
Sharon Azar from Prospect Heights Bklyn

it's very scary and deeply disappointing that the official giving directions at the polling site did not inform me that there was a proposition on the other side of the ballot! she only pointed to one side and said to just fill in my choices and go to the scanning machine!.
this stupidity is unacceptable.

Nov. 02 2010 03:53 PM
jason brougham

I voted at the YWHA on Nagle in Inwood. Everything went smoothly, though one of the two scanners was apparently not functioning.

Despite the incorrect written instructions I feel that it was easy to see which oval went with each candidate.

I could not vote for Charles Rangel, I voted for the Socialist candidate instead. I feel he should have been more responsible about his finances and, especially, his rents.

Nov. 02 2010 03:49 PM
Brenda from Manhattan

This was my first time voting with the scanner. I did not enjoy it. I felt exposed and missed the ritual of the booth.

Nov. 02 2010 03:35 PM
John from Park Slope from Brooklyn

PS 107 - District 17

I have the luxury of voting after the morning rush (9:30 a.m.), so the very cramped basement of PS 107 was nearly empty. Even so, the process bogs down due to the need to wait in three separate lines to cast your vote; the line to sign in; the line for an open privacy table; and the line for the scanner. Although the wait on each line wasn't very long, I can see how it could turn into a logistical nightmare during a higher profile (presidential) election. And if one of the scanners goes down, look out.

Nov. 02 2010 02:54 PM
Norman from Brooklyn, NYC

My wife called and told me that she voted. I asked if she voted on the propositions and she said no one at the polling place told her about them.
When I went to vote, I paid attention. The people ahead of me were not told about the propositions on the back. And I was not told. When I mentioned this to the poll worker they apologized. They said they would certainly do it from now on.
When I called the board of elections, I was asked for the particular polling place. I did not wish to blame overworked staff.
Rather, I suggested that we rerun the propositions as a separate election, because I suspect hardly anyone knew about them with the new balloting procedures and general confusion.
This is definitely a case where the ballot obscured the choices upon it, and is an disservice to the democratic process.

Nov. 02 2010 02:45 PM
George from Westchester

What a weird experience. Bring back the old voting machines!

I was given a long form with a folder. The form did not fit the folder so that when I was done, you could see some of who I voted for. And I agree with another commenter who said the type font is a small.

I was able to scan the form myself but not without someone watching me. Our privacy is decaying folks...

Nov. 02 2010 02:45 PM
Richard from YONKERS

What a mess! 30 minutes to vote. I finally was required to use the handicapped voting machine because the pens provided by the election committee were too dark and permeated the ballot. The pen provided by the worker was too light so she filled in the circles I marked with more gusto. So much for privacy! Still didn't work! I'm very happy to see the stimulus money being spent on fixing something that wasn't broken in the first place.

Nov. 02 2010 01:51 PM
Norique from Bensonhurst

Voted in Bensonhurst, Dyker Heights area. The staffs were non-grouchy, very helpful, and informative. Filled in the paper ballot and scanned. Everything worked well. In and out in 5, 6 min!

Nov. 02 2010 01:29 PM
Elizabeth from Crown Heights Brooklyn

Voted in Crown Heights on Crown st. Had to use a paper ballot. Was bounced between tables for a good while until one woman overheard and instructed poll attendees at 32ED to hand me a paper ballot. They gave me an envelope and no ballot. When they finally gave me a ballot I realized half way through that it had already been filled out by someone else!!! I was voting down the Working Families / Green line and noticed that the Dem circles were already filled in.
Brought it back, they looked confused, handed me another one. Its maddening, infuriating, insane that people are so sloppy with something so important.

Nov. 02 2010 01:24 PM
LB from Westchester

We are using the new ballots that have to be filled out and then scanned. The registration process was cumbersome - more so than I recall in the past, perhaps because many voters needed more explanation. Since I had voted in the primary, I already knew how to use the ballot so it was annoying to be lectured to about it. But worse was the poll sorker stationed at the scanner who tried to grab my ballot out of my hand to scan it for me. I wouldn't allow him to - what happened to the secret ballot we hold so dear in this country?! We actually argued about who was going to scan it! I prevailed, but not without a bit of a scene. He insisted he was supposed to do it and I insisted I knew how and deserved privacy. In the end, all went well with my ballot but really, is it really true that these poll workers are supposed to cast our ballot for us giving them a good view of out votes?

Nov. 02 2010 01:13 PM
Chris from CT from Connecticut

I found the voting to be very easy. I appeared at the line and asked the person directing traffice what to do. She clearly and simply explained the process. It was very easy to cast my ballot.

I voted pretty much all over the map based on who I thought was most qualified or had other traits that would work well during this election cycle. However, you should note that I made a special point to AVOID voting for Democratic candidates!

Nov. 02 2010 01:01 PM
Angelo from PS 46 District 2

I voted at PS 46 in Brooklyn this morning. There were no lines and it was easy to do. Oddly, there are two other polling stations closer to my house, and my next door neighbor voted at one of them, but for some reason I was sent several blocks over.

Nov. 02 2010 12:55 PM
Marvin Brooklyn from Brooklyn, NY

At my polling place 2 out of the 4 scanners were not working at around noon. A neighbor, who votes at another school, said 2 were also out at her site. Did the MTA create these inoperable machines? Also, how are very old people and those with poor eyesight supposed to fill in those tiny ovals. What a travesty.

Nov. 02 2010 12:48 PM
Bruce from Jackson Heights

I voted at this am at PS 212. The poll workers in the 33 ED were very poorly trained and extremely disorganized. I found the system very easy thought the type on the ballot was way too small and difficult to read.

Nov. 02 2010 12:29 PM
Bruce from Jackson Heights

I voted at this am at PS 212. The poll workers in the 33 ED were very poorly trained and extremely disorganized. I found the system very easy thought the type on the ballot was way too small and difficult to read.

Nov. 02 2010 12:29 PM
Larry from Brooklyn

From a friend: Today at PS 321, on the the first ballot I submitted, I voted straight WFP line for most races but I voted a few write-ins for a few of the down ballot races (in non close races in which I had major problems with my incumbents). The scanner refused to accept my ballot because it claimed I had voted twice in two of those races (which I didn't). The scanner then told me to touch a certain icon to get my ballot back; but when I touched the icon, it wouldn't give me a my ballot back. After thumbing through a manual, the site coordinator, Ms. Catherine Gray, told me to submit a second ballot. When I asked her how they could ensure that my voted wasn't counted twice, she said "That's a good question." Thus, I have no idea whether this first ballot was accepted by the machine, or, if it was rejected, whether it would be counted if there is a hand re-count.

The scanner refused to accept by second ballot because the election workers had accidentally ripped the edge of my ballot. I am assuming that this ballot was not counted.

The scanner actually accepted my third ballot. I assume this ballot was counted, but have no idea whether it was my second vote of the day.

Nov. 02 2010 12:19 PM
joanie from UWS

Just voted on UWS shortly before noon. Longest wait was at the district table, waiting for one woman to find me in the book of registered voters. It took her about 5 minutes per person!
That will be way too long for the after-work crowd. Got a privacy sleeve but she didn't tell me about the back of the ballot. However, another person at the computer did (and I thanked her. Thanks to WNYC I knew about it.
By the way, the NYC election official yesterday was wrong again: you have to choose between 2 and 3 terms (there is no way to chooset ZERO TERM LIMITS).

Nov. 02 2010 12:15 PM
Kerrie from Brooklyn from Carroll Gardens

I asked if the referedums were on the back, I was told nothing was on the back. When I turned it over and saw writing on the back, he told me the information was on the back but I voted on the front. Clearly that was not the case... I told him afterward that he shouldn't be giving him misinformation and he told me "people could figure it out themselves".

Nov. 02 2010 12:14 PM
Helen Magrisso from PS 46 Bayside, NY

I and others coming out of the polling place were angry at the change of machines,(waste of money?). Was there a valid need? The ballots were
incredibly stupid in font and layout. If you didn't want anyone to vote, you would prepare a ballot like this one.

workers very nice and helpful

Nov. 02 2010 12:13 PM
carla stockton from New York City

I'm appalled, terrified that I live in a country where a state the size and scope of New York could be seriously considering that man named Palladino as their governor. I'm confused by the fact that people like Angle, O'Donnell, Brewer (she supports a Quayle, for goodness sake, who says that "Obama is the worst president the US has ever had," that he "was brought up right." Who are we? How did we get here? I am further concerned by the chatter in the polling place. A disabled black man on a diatribe from his wheelchair about how the Democrats are letting us down, how he can't afford his health care, how he knows these damned Democrats are going to drop the ball. Why are Americans so quick to change horses when the one they are riding still has a way to go before he proves or disproves his worth? This is the most terrifying election I have ever faced. This a.m. on Brian Lehrer, a woman actually said she was going to vote Republican to show the Democrats. What? Does this woman not understand what she is saying? She said Obama promised change. Did she honestly believe he would change the Bush-sullied world in two years? How have we diminished our ability to think critically so much that we are able to even think out loud in this vein?

Nov. 02 2010 12:13 PM
Stephanie from Lower East Side

I'm writing an article about the design of the new system, so I brought my camera and notebook with me. The first thing I encountered was the police officer yelling at me I was not allowed to take pictures. I tried to tell her about the constitution and the first amendment, but she hadn't heard of them. Over all the new system is slow and cumbersome. The type on the ballots is way too small.

Nov. 02 2010 12:07 PM
Steven from Chelsea—351 West 18 Street

Everything went perfectly this morning at Bayard Rustin H.S. in Chelsea at 8 o'clock. Lots of smiling faces and no confusion. I was in and out the door quickly.

Nov. 02 2010 12:07 PM
Morgan from Bed Stuy

There was no line to sign in & pick up our ballots in Bed Stuy, so we got right to it. All of the poll workers we had contact with were friendly & professional.
The ballot was easy enough to understand but some of the type is bizarrely small so I can see how that would be a problem if you have poor eyesight.
There were only two scanners at our poll site & one was completely broken. The other was scanning ballots but an error appeared after each saying that the ballot had been counted but that there was a problem with the paper not dropping into the tray. We went ahead & scanned ours since it was saying the votes were being counted.
When we left, they were in the process of trying to get a police officer to come & stand watch so they could unlock the scanner & fix the jam. - not sure how that turned out...

Nov. 02 2010 12:00 PM
Irked from East Village

I voted at the Sirovich Senior Center on East 12th St. Not a good experience this time.

First off, the young lady directing voters to their sign-in desks couldn't find my address on her handwritten list of buildings on the avenues. Turns out a series of numbers were missing from the list. It took 5 minutes to figure this out, while a long line formed behind me.

Next, at the very moment I arrived at my sign-in desk, the guy running that desk reached out for a pill bottle and spent several minutes taking some pills, then placing the remainder in their bottle and reaching over to put them in his carrying bag. Of course I don't mind anyone taking pills, but there was no waiting line behind me, and he could easily have delayed a few moments until he'd finished processing me..

When he found my name, he waved his hand, indicating that I should sign my name. I asked him where on the page, and his response was "anywhere"--whether in humor or boredom, I couldn't tell. But I wasn't amused at that point.

At the voting desk, the lighting was dim, the text was uncomfortably small, and the magnifying glass blurry.

Some good news: the lady overseeing the scanning knew exactly what she was doing and wasted no time in directing me to insert my ballot.

Nov. 02 2010 11:57 AM
Jennifer from Hudson Heights

Voted at PS 187 this morning around 10 am. No problem with the ballot or scanning. My only issue was with the poll worker who asked to check my ballot to make sure I'd filled out both sides before scanning it. I kept my ballot in the privacy sleeve and declined to have her check it.

Nov. 02 2010 11:57 AM
John from Queens

I forgot the ballot questions - forgot to flip the ballot over. Nobody reminded me.
The workers in my polling center was not very comfortable with the whole process and seemed confused.

Nov. 02 2010 11:56 AM
John from Queens

I forgot the ballot questions - forgot to flip the ballot over. Nobody reminded me.
The workers in my polling center was not very comfortable with the whole process and seemed confused.

Nov. 02 2010 11:52 AM
Mary from Rockland County

I voted for the too *&%$" high party for Governor, the first time I have "thrown away" my vote, to send a message to both parties. The Democrats didn't even try to earn my vote, and the Republicans allowed a completely unqualified candidate to make it on their ballot. Jimmy MacMillan may be a joke, but the election this year was a farce.

Nov. 02 2010 11:52 AM
Gene Yetter from East 13th Street, Manhattan

I voted at the Sirovich location on 12th St. in the East Village, my first experience with the new voting system. I was appalled! The voting form printed in sub-agate type size would be hard enough to read in bright light, but in the very poor ambient light in the Sirovich community room it was impossible. The privacy shields fixed to the voting station actually blocked light from the form. The shields are fixed with ridiculously week and undirected LED lights and of no help whatsoever. The final insult is the "magnifiers" provided for those experiencing a problem with legibility. They are flexible sheets about 8X10" but their magnifying power may run to no more 1/2 inch of depth of sharp focus. And since they are flexible their coverage of the form is hopelessly uneven. I was impressed with the efficiency of the scanning process of the final form, but the dopey and ill-conceived voting "stations" should be thrown out and redesigned from scratch!

Nov. 02 2010 11:48 AM
michele from flushing

District 41. 7am. Instructions from poll workers were useless and unclear. There was no clarification about where to mark vote for candidate(below) and no information about turning over ballot for referendums. My friend who was behind me actually felt the instructions she received from the next worker in D.41 led her to believe she could only vote republican or democrat.
The small type and lack of room that forced the 2nd referendum to put so many issues under one vote is and insult to our right to vote.

Nov. 02 2010 11:47 AM

Cuomo’s name appears way too many times on the ballot. A simple logic could suggest that he’s more important than the others on the ballot. A candidate’s name should appear only once on a ballot for a truly fair vote.

Nov. 02 2010 11:46 AM
mary ann moy from financial district, NYC

The voting process has taken a big step backwards; I voted on Church street in Manhattan this morning, and I feel like they added several more steps than should be necessary; fill out this giant paper ballot (a waste of paper) I had to search for the supervisor to hand in my vote ticket, then I have to scan my sheet! It's like being an office worker for a half an hour! Nobody was genius enough to just allow people to vote on the screen?! If you have a computer illiterate, they can do the paper process! When I complained, I was told the old system was "obsolete"! So going back to the future with paper is modern?? It was very annoying!

Nov. 02 2010 11:45 AM
Joe from Manhattan

Voted this AM on UES and, for the most part, the process was fairly smooth.
Cannot comprehend the obcession with privacy @ the polls. As I think what we all have been through these past 8 or 9 years as a country, someone peeping over my shoulder, or looking at my ballot as they scan, PALES IN COMPARISON, especially from a "Facebook" obcessed culture. GROW UP!

Nov. 02 2010 11:44 AM
Sarah from Harlem

After giving my name and address (a very simple name, and clearly spoken), the poll worker asked for my i.d. I pulled it out, however, I did inform her that she wasn't supposed to ask for one. (Only 1st time voters) One of her colleagues told me that if they can't understand the name, then they have to ask for i.d. for the spelling. I responded that she could hand them a pen and paper and have them write it down. After finding my name (which matched my i.d. name and address), I signed my name. Then, a 3rd worker told the woman with the book that I signed with a scribble and that because the signature didn't match, then she had to put a question mark by my name. I said that it is a matter of opinion because I've been signing my name the same way for the past 20 years and no one thought to question it. She mumbled under her breath that it didn't match and that I signed with a scribble. I noted that they had just looked at my i.d. that verified my identity. The voting process was easy. I then went to the scanner and the woman there told me that I had to turn it around and scan it the other way. I informed her that the instructions said that the scanner will read the ballot anyway you insert it. Could it be that she didn't read the instructions? We need better trained and informed poll workers.

Nov. 02 2010 11:39 AM
John from Manhattan

The paper ballot is simple to fill out. I had NO problem reading it.

I WAS reminded that there were questions on the ballot's reverse. (You'd have to be living under a rock if you haven't heard about this issue which is what I told the poll worker.) There is a tremendous amount of wasted space taken up by instructions that could easily live on a separate sheet. on the rear of the ballot; a more efficient layout could accommodate more ballot questions.

However, even a casual eye looking over a "Privacy Booth" could see a voter's choices. Also, once filled out you're given a Manila folder to "hide" the completed ballot. However, the ballot is larger than the folder; the edge of the ballot hangs off potentially exposing a voter's choice to a casual glance especially when on the queue to use the scanning machine. I had no problem using the scanner but a voter in front of me did.

Once the ballot is placed on the scanner tray it takes several seconds before the ballot is taken up by the machine. The scanning machines offer marginal if any privacy from wandering eyes. If privacy is an important issue, then the Commission gets a poor rating -- this ineptitude is so symbolic of this year's election.

Nov. 02 2010 11:36 AM
Zach from UWS

I voted at the Jewish Guild on West 65th Street at 9:00AM. Everything went well. Nothing broke. The workers are very nice and well-trained. I was finished in 10 minutes. I still miss the big voting machines though...

Nov. 02 2010 11:34 AM
brad from crown heights

Not strictly a polling problem, but I see that the board of elections' web map for finding who your representatives are is overwhelmed - another fail for the BOE.

Nov. 02 2010 11:33 AM
Chad from Sunset Park, BK

My polling place, PS 96 in Sunset Park, was the busiest this morning that I've seen it since before 2008. A friend who votes in Gowanus and another friend who votes in Brooklyn Heights both told me the same thing. Is this angry TP-types showing their disapproval of incumbents? The Obama base coming out to support Democrats? A combination of both?

Nov. 02 2010 11:29 AM
Margery Manber from 235 Garth Road, Scarsdale, NY

I just voted in Eastchester/Scarsdale. Because the pens we were given showed parts of our circles on the back of the ballot, it was clear to the poll helper how I had voted (she told me the line I voted for) even though I turned the ballot over to feed into the scanner. That's totally unacceptable!

Nov. 02 2010 11:27 AM
jawboe from Parsippany

Altho disappointed in the current Corporatist Dems, I will go to vote here in Parsippany.

While I live in a lower cost area, Morris County is one of the wealthiest counties in the nation, and the Republican Freylinghuysen (not checking spelling, btw), scion of old wealth and family political power, has a sinecure in the House of Representatives. So I was free to vote Green or some other liberal party.

Oops, only a Libertarian is on the ballot in addition to the two legacy parties.

So, write in? None of the Above? Too Liberal for Corporatist Democrats?

How can I use my vote to let the Democrats know how I feel politcally? They sure don't listen to my calls or respond to my emails.

Nov. 02 2010 11:26 AM
Nick from UWS

Complete idiocy. Typical of moron bureaucrats to take a simple, quick, well understood and traditional process and turn it into a time-wasting and probably corrupt nightmare, and one guaranteed to torture the voters. That's the point of this change, to make voting unpleasant and stupid so that less people vote and democracy is corroded. What the hell is wrong with this country? This country is a sick place. That Director of the Board Of Elections interviewed yesterday could barely string a sentence together. And this is the person running our most important political function. Completely disgusting.

Nov. 02 2010 11:25 AM
Peggy from Ossining, Westchester.

I voted in Westchester this morning and the biggest problem I had was the paper itself caused problems with the scanner. The volunteers are tearing the ballots out of very thick books and it's not always tearing properly. Any tears or any extra bits of paper on the ends can cause it to misread and that happened to me twice. I had to re-do the last page of my ballot and it still took 5 or 6 tries and having to trim the end of the paper. Meanwhile the people behind me had to wait to scan their ballet because they can't do anything out of order once the first part of your ballot is submitted. I found it rather troubling that they insisted that you had to tear the third page off (of three) and scan it separately. I also find it quite backwards to be starting to use paper ballots in an era when the focus SHOULD be on using LESS paper and not more. I had to use two ballots to get my votes cast properly.. I certainly hope this paper is being recycled and printed on recycled paper...........Also - the privacy is rather laughable. I fortunately was in a location which was not terribly crowded but it got more crowded as people had to wait for my ballot to finally scan properly.

Nov. 02 2010 11:24 AM
Ernie from PS 96, 650 Waring Ave., Bronx, NY

Voted at 11:05 a.m. in PS 96 at 650 Waring Ave. in the Bronx (ED60, AD80).
Voting appeared to be going very smoothly. The poll worker gave me the ballot and my privacy sleeve. Some of the voting stalls were turned so that the voter's backs were to the wall. However, on my side of the cafeteria I had to mark my ballot in a station with my back to the poll workers. I presume the one I voted in was positioned with my back to the poll workers because of mobility issues for all the elderly voters with walkers or canes. Elderly voters were complaining that they could not read the ballot because it's printed too small. Poll workers were helping people in English and Spanish. I was allowed to insert my ballot into the scanner without a poll worker touching it. The only mistake I encountered was that a poll worker told me to sign in the voter roll in a box that was not the correct one, which is not the first time I've encountered poll workers who did not know how to read the voter roll book. The privacy issue is overblown, you can barely see who you've voted for with the magnifying glass at the ballot marking station, so I can't imagine that anyone standing behind me would be able to tell who I voted for.

Nov. 02 2010 11:24 AM
Allegra from UWS

I had a very confusing experience.
On your show yesterday I thought you mentioned a write-in option for the proposals on the back.
I asked the poll worker who was giving instructions about the ballot but he did not know where the write in boxes were, "they must be there." I found the write in boxes for the candidates, the poll worker then asked ME where they were.
Because of the confusion about the ballot and its instructions I asked him to call to find out about the write-in options for the ballot initiatives and his response was, "no one answers their phone anymore... I will just get voice mail." I pressed him, and he said it would take a half an hour. I asked him to please do it and said I would return.
I then tried to get an answer to the question myself and called the NYC gov voting number 866 868 3692 and found out (from her supervisor) that there was a blank place to write it in. I asked her to guide me through the location, either on the web, or to give me the phone number of someone I could call directly from my voting place, but neither was possible.
I said I wanted to file a complaint about the vagueness of the answers for the whole voting experience, including her. I was then connected to someone who spoke with certainty that there is no write in location.
What was frustrating was the lack of certainty. And even now I wonder what I am missing.

Nov. 02 2010 11:22 AM
stella katz from Gramercy Park

Voted this morning @ 9 am. My local polling place was chaotic: workers were poorly prepared, the 3-step process was badly choreographed (voters needed guidance in where-to as well as how-to), the forms are badly designed (the AIGA national chapter is located in NYC, so this is inexcusable!), and the whole process was distracting and wasteful! Too many steps, too many people involved, a disheartening lack of preparation and coordination.

Nov. 02 2010 11:22 AM
Maria from Northern Westchester, New York

My biggest concern today is that even though I used "a light touch", as instructed, with the voting marker, my vote on the ballot question on the back bled through somewhat and appeared as a light mark for a different candidate than whom I voted for in the governor column on the front. I asked the poll worker at the scanner about this and he opened up my privacy shield and viewed my entire ballot, running his finger across as he did this. I decided to insert the ballot as is because I was told that it would be rejected if more than one vote were detected in that column. My ballot was accepted as it was.

Nov. 02 2010 11:21 AM
Jane from UES - PS 6 - Mad and 82

BRING A PEN!. There aren't enough writing implements. Also, it's hard to find a place to mark your ballot. My voting station was very busy with voters and a high number of very involved staff. As a as voter you have to move around - first to sign in, then find a place to mark your ballot and finally to the scanners. Had this been a busier time or major election the place would have been beyond capacity.

Nov. 02 2010 11:17 AM
Diane Bennett from Rockland County

My ballot in Rockland County labels row F at the left as the Green Party line, but halfway across it switches to Right to Life Party, which is noted in much smaller print.

Nov. 02 2010 11:15 AM

At my polling place in Flatbush, the staff was well informed, and the assistant at the scanning machine actually took a step back so as not to see my ballot.

Nov. 02 2010 11:14 AM
Lynn from Staten Island from Staten Island, NY

I voted in District 55, and wasn't sure how to feel. The person at the door that looks up the district for the voter did not have the pre-printed book that they would normally have; the addresses were hand-written on a yellow notepad. This was somewhat unsettling to me. There was no line and I was given my ballot and sent to a little privacy station to fill it out. From there I walked over to the scanner, which is where I felt total doom. I saw the documentary "Hacked" and have no faith that my vote won't be flipped. And when I asked for my receipt I was told there was no receipt to be given and that I should have a nice day. Where's the paper trail? We are doomed!

Nov. 02 2010 11:14 AM
jawbone from Parsippany

I'm so deeply disappointed in our modern corporatist Dems -- and I'm having to face the very real possibility that I have to break up with my adult life-long relationship with the Democratic Party.

I was worried about Obama being not simply not liberal, but also not really progressive. What I'd read about his relationship with his constituents in IL, and his actions as a legislator in both IL and DC, led me to doubt he would do much beyond working to appease the powerful.

For example, he was given a plum assignment to bring universal health care to IL residents when in the IL state senate; He opened with a bold, strong statements about the need to cover everyone. He then met with the big insurers and other health industry officials, and he ended up with a recommendation to strive to some improvements. It became a "goal" instead of state policy.

Well, look what he went for at the national level: health insurance reform, which actually put the big insurers in the cat bird seat by requiring mandated purchase by anyone not covered through employers, while the insurers get to game the state insurance commissioners, to lobby for keeping more of the health care dollars as pure profit. Yeah, 80% must go to coverage, but the insurers get to help decide what counts as "coverage."

Terribly disappointed that the Dems finally had large majorities, the WH, and they went down this corporate friendly path, instead of what the majority of people wanted which was something like Medicare for All, but with improvements.

Coulda, shoulda, but they wouldna do it.

And independents were just as much for Medicare for All as self-id'd Democratic voters were! Obama could have had a cakewalk in this election!

And, just why couldn't he have done real stimulus, which would work for the little people? Why did he feel he had to pamper the corporations, banksters, and Uberwealthy?

No FDR, this Dem prez!

He has made the Dems look like corporate lackeys, and that's why people don't want to vote to keep them in office. If we're going to be messed over, why have it done by someone you voted for?

Nov. 02 2010 11:13 AM
Smokey from LES

The new voting system works well enough. But there's no good reason for the paper ballot to be so confusing and hard to read. Any beginning graphics person could make it so much easier to read!

As to having the vote counted accurately, I wish I could get a little printout after my vote is scanned so I can verify that the machine did its job accurately. Too bad. It's as opaque as the old mechanical machine.

Nov. 02 2010 11:12 AM
Joe from Kips Bay

It was a snap this morning. The new method is terrific, though the text on the forms could be a bit larger or bolder. I don't understand people who say it's confusing. It couldn't be easier.

Nov. 02 2010 11:12 AM
Clif from Mid-town

Voting went pretty smooth. I liked the paper ballot. However, I'm still puzzled and confused about why we can't have some kind of receipt. I stick my ballot in this machine and it says Thank You or whatever and that's it! I have no idea if this machine interpreted my ballot correctly or not.

Why is this so hard to implement? Ok, so maybe not everyone wants a receipt, but I do and I thought we lived in a land of choice?

Let's make this receipts for voting idea a reality for those who want them!!!

Nov. 02 2010 11:11 AM
Patricia M. White from Manhattan

Went to vote at 6:45 this a.m. What a nightmare! The scanner wasn’t up and running till 7:00, and then the poll workers, who did not even begin to know how to troubleshoot the electronics, were handing out ballots meant for a different machine; the paper was too wide to fit in the scanner! They finally found the right ballots, but then there weren’t any pens in the privacy booths. I did eventually get to vote, 30 minutes after I got there, and there were only 4 people ahead of me; the first guy in line had been there since the polls opened at 6:00! I called the Board of Elections (via 311) to complain when I got home. I miss the old lever machines. The new technology is fine, but there’s far too much opportunity for error, both human and electronic. Have I said I miss the old lever machines?

Nov. 02 2010 11:11 AM
Elise from West Village

Voted in the West Village. I am glad that you reported in detail about the issues with the paper ballot. It brought attention to some of the confusion on the ballot. However, it was quite a simple process, and not as complicated as I expected. This comment coming from someone who remembers hanging on my mother's ankles in the old voting booths.

Nov. 02 2010 11:10 AM
bob from Manhattan

Voted at the school on west 77 street---no problems, though I almost forgot to vote on the second side.
I consider myself an independant voter; for this election I voted for all the democrats except Chuck Schumer---somehow I find the man contemptible. He represents everything about the Democratic Party that I find dissappointing---I feel he has no interest in the needs of the ordinary citizens of the city---he was the enabler of Wall Street deregulation while it was booming, and he has never apologized for that. Occasionally he comes out with some statement that is supposed to help his whole constituency, like he is throwing us some crumbs, but to me it seems terribly disingenous.
Felt depressed that I had to vote for Gillibrand, again, I was "given" her, but did it anyway.
Hoping that Cuomo will decide to become a true statesman and do his best to turn the state around.

Nov. 02 2010 11:05 AM
Joe from Hillsborough, NJ from District 8

Voted at 7 AM. I was the only one there. Someone was pulling into the polling place as I left. Can't remember such a light turnout in over a decade of elections.

Nov. 02 2010 11:05 AM
W from ossining, ny

I live in Ossining, NY and I trust all the old folks who volunteer at the polls to be non-biased and respectful of the election process. (they are all great, and take it all so seriously, as they should) But what about many other locations.

The poor elderly man struggles to tear out the ballot, consequently ripping the corner off, "spoiling" the ballot (50% of the time)... by 10am under 50 voters voted... I left in disgust at 8:40 am and came back an hour later... all went as well as could be expected.

How is this a better system? I have to MANUALLY and CAREFULLY color in tiny ovals (that no one over 40 care see the hairline rule) then I have to tear the ballot in two along a perforated edge CAREFULLY, then MANUALLY feed each half into the "electronic" scanner...

this is easier... for who?

BTW: all this in FULL view of everyone in the voting room! There was no privacy, no curtain, nothing... nothing but confusion and complication, taking an old but simple system and making it more complicated and difficult to do, on top of that... I have no doubt that it is FAR from accurate! Any system that requires such manual precision from the masses in order to calculate the votes is just "chad-ding" up the whole voting process.

Nov. 02 2010 10:59 AM

I voted in District 85 in Brooklyn and it started out pretty smoothly. Until I read the instructions to vote, a pretty basic part of voting. The instructions said to fill in the bubble next to or above the candidate's name. This, despite the fact that the bubbles were BELOW. How hard is it to have correct instructions, especially for those who are elderly or first-time voters, or not NPR listeners? Had I not been listening to your show yesterday, I would have been confused.

Nov. 02 2010 10:58 AM
Tony M from UWS

Lots of folks on my W 97th St polling place and MUCH smoother procedure than the primaries.

Nov. 02 2010 10:57 AM
John Hetland from Chelsea, Manhattan

My only disappointment in voting was that I didn't have to wait in line. I thought voting would be heavy, but the two clerks were sitting there waiting when I arrived at my table. There was no confusion on the ballot; I think it was laid out the same as the beloved lever machines of old, just having an oval instead of a lever. And despite worries voiced on WNYC, there was no confusion as to whether the oval was "next to" or "below" the candidate's name; it was in the same little box. The only downside is that you can't (easily) change your vote, and you can't test the levers to see if you get any more votes.

Nov. 02 2010 10:56 AM
Cass Collins from Narrowsburg, NY

I am voting upstate for the first time. Have been a dedicated voter in NYC for 40 years (yikes!) but this year I wanted to vote up here where I own a home. The issue dear to me this year is fracking and there is a clear difference between the candidates here - Bonacic and Sager. But when I went to vote this morning, I wasn't on the rolls. I had registered more than a year ago through the Motor Vehicles Bureau but my name doesn't show up. So I have to go to Monticello to get a court order to vote or file an affidavit. I think I'll go to get the court order because I want to make sure my vote is counted and my name is on the rolls.

Nov. 02 2010 10:46 AM
Anita Spivak from Rockaway, NJ

I am astounded that those people, who feel that Obama did not do as much as he should have, are staying home. What in all that is holy do they think they are accomplishing?

Nov. 02 2010 10:44 AM
MikeInBrklyn from Clinton Hill

I want the old voting machine back. Or, at least, create an alternative that is as simple and efficient as those old machines. And I don't know why I felt so unsettled using the new machine. After the scan, I asked myself, how do I know my vote was truly registered? Maybe it's the newness, but things are definitely slower.

I am very worried that this new system would not be able to handle an election year like 2008. It took me a 1/2 hour or more to vote today, with moderate turnout.

Nov. 02 2010 10:36 AM
Dom from Lost in NJ

This election points to the danger to the republic caused by "low information" voters. The facts about the TARP (a Bush/Republican plan), "bail out bucks" (lower than they think and may actually make money for the federal government) stimulus dollars (more effective and less costly than they think), Health Care costs (independent sources say it will actually reduce the budget) and taxes (lower for >95% of America) are against these throw the bums out people. Watching MSNBC and/or Fox News gives the voter a limited and in many cases a false view of the facts. When people behave (and vote) only based on their "gut" is a recipe for failure. Bush 43 governed with his gut and look where he left the country. He was another low information president and he and his team ran the country into the ground. Unfortunately, Obama's message has not been able to break through to these voters - either because this slice of the electorate is unwilling or unable to understand complex issues or because Obama and his team have not tailored their message properly to hit them where they live. The anger of these TEA party people has been more expertly manipulated and focused by the Right. The leaders on the Right are expertly hitting these angry voters in the gut by using false claims and, generously, half truths at best to win this year's elections instead of using their energy to build a team to fix what's wrong. This leaves me scared about the future of the Country. We need intelligent statesmen and women who think win/win instead of win/lose. In fact, I think this election may be cited in the future by experts as the point in our country's history where we fell from greatness.

Nov. 02 2010 10:36 AM
Joe M.

2 years ago there was a large turnout in this neighborhood of middle class blacks. Not this year. Nationally significant in re Dem. turnout? Also, 2 complaints about new ballot: too cluttered with print. Should have separate ballots for each language instead of all in one.Would be easier to read(like old lever machines.) And after scanning, I saw no feedback on screen saying whether or not my bubbles were what I intended.

Nov. 02 2010 10:36 AM
Vinny_G from Upper West Side NYC

How do I feel??? mere words elude me,,,, I hate all of them!!! I can't stand the commercials, the negative advertising, the name-calling and back-stabbing; they should be given real knives. I wish for mandatory voting with a vote of no-confidence:I think that a majority vote of "none-of-the-above" will communicate the real feeling of disgust from the lack of civility, and the reality that the lesser of two evils is still evil. I propose a strict limit on advertising, and completely public funded campaign financing, along with donated, equal television and radio air time.

Nov. 02 2010 10:36 AM
Robert E Sterling from Norwalk, CT

For the first time in forty years I didnot vote the straight Democratic line (I voted Working Families) because I have been completely disgusted with the wimpy performance of the majority and the president. They knew after the first two months of his presidency that the Republicans were not going to cooperate so they should have said damn them damn bipartisanship they wont participate we will govern without them. They just did not want to take the heat for all the decisions that they had to make all by themselves; Well guess what.. They are taking the heat for it anyway

Nov. 02 2010 10:31 AM
Kate from Fort Greene

Obama said everyone had to pitch in and that it wouldn't be easy to change Washington when he ran for president. We all have to make an effort, meaning we can't have unrealistic expectations and want the waters parted already. We all have to get out and vote. So much has happened in two years, and if the GOP wins today, they will spend the NEXT two years focused ONLY on "taking the country back."{whatever that means} The only idea I've heard from the GOP this election season is to un-do everything Obama has done (except for the Bush Tax-Cuts for the wealthy).

Nov. 02 2010 10:26 AM
stephanie from Manhattan

I hope that we will vote with the better angels of our nature

Nov. 02 2010 10:25 AM
karenjaninaz from Montville, NJ

I am a Registered Republican splitting ticket.
Disgusted with Republican Party.
Like healthcare reform. Do not like the mass hysteria of the Republican Party and fear mongering. They lost me.
Not working together with the president is self-serving and not helping our country.

Nov. 02 2010 10:24 AM
Christine berthet from New York city, manhattan

Staying the course.

Democracy is not a system well suited to crisis. Yes The timing of Healthcare reform was very poor. Yes Chrysler and AIG should have gone under.

But the republicans will continue to eradicate the middle class, ship job abroad and selfishly exploit this country.

Nov. 02 2010 10:24 AM
abbey from prospect heights

I just went to vote out of habit and obligation. I didn't care about any of the candidates, and I miss the old voting machines. They gave a sense of occasion. And they were also simple- one stop. This new system is going to break down immediately if there is any voter volume at all. Thank god for voter apathy. I really wanted to vote for The Rent's Too Damn High Party as a joke because the whole system is a joke, but I didn't, out of habit and obligation. I would really love to vote and feel excited, that my vote, or the issues & solutions which I care about, matters.

Nov. 02 2010 10:19 AM
Tom from Astoria

I was at my polling place in Astoria at 7:15 am. All the poll workers were friendly, knowledgeable and well-trained. Every scanner was working and I was in and out in five minutes. Great voting experience!

Nov. 02 2010 10:18 AM
S from Manhattan

Voting for Howie Hawkins -- only candidate to support parent interests in education. Also -- appalled yesterday by report about David Koch's influence on Cuomo. Isn't the Tea Party enough for Koch to control?

Nov. 02 2010 10:16 AM
Kathie from Montvale, NJ

IMPOTENT -- As a Democratic-leaning voter in a heavily Republican district in northern NJ, I felt that my vote today was a waste of time. At least in national elections, when the state vote is tallied in total, my vote mattered (now, however,NJ is probably more red than blue).

Nov. 02 2010 10:15 AM

I've become US citizen this year, so this is my first chance to vote it my new country - it was pretty excited!!!
I've voted on Ridgewood, NY and everything went very smooth.

Nov. 02 2010 10:11 AM
Barbara from New York, NY

I'm hopeful that the Giants World Series win, in the face of all "polls" to the contrary, gives hope to those of us who believe the Obama Administration deserves and will get more time.
I was the first to vote on W120 St which was a bit confused since the coordinator hadn't appeared - still I was out in 5 minutes.
My way of rebelling was to vote on the Working Family Party line!

Nov. 02 2010 10:10 AM
CH from Staten Island, North Shore

My husband & I voted around 7AM on Staten Island. No problems other than the incorrect instruction on the ballot as was pointed out previously. I do think the poll workers should have also reminded voters about the misleading instructions, but perhaps that isn't allowed. There are only 2 scanners at our polling site which could become a bottleneck if a lot of people show up at rush hour, but this morning was fine. The poll workers were attentive and polite (they always have been here).

Nov. 02 2010 10:07 AM
Carolyn from Brightwaters, Long Island

Believe it or not, my polling place is a Ford dealership. Is that strange?

When I voted, the poll lady walked me to the machine and pulled my vote sheet out of the privacy sleeve. I told her she shouldn't do that. She glared at me and when I fumbled while trying to feed it into the machine, she grabbed it, took it out of the sleeve and fed it in herself. She did this for the next voter also. I'm pretty upset and don't know what to do. This happened at the primary also.

Nov. 02 2010 10:05 AM
KOW from Greenpoint, Brooklyn

Smooth sailing at 9:30am ED #74. I was no. 62.
No lines, this new system works much faster you are in and out, no problem, plenty of tables to vote at, and the machine took the vote slip quickly and efficiently. The only problem is the "Print is TOO DAMN SMALL". You can barely read the candidates name. Plus I think with this method it's just easier to fill out the ovals down one column instead of trying to read the small print to cross party lines and vote for different candidates. Maybe it just will take getting use to, but I think crossing parties to vote was easier inside the booth with the levers. Happy Voting.

Nov. 02 2010 10:03 AM
Stephen from Prospect Heights

Not a ballot problem, but a Board of Elections issue:

The 'clerks' at the tables completely screwed up my ballot this morning because it appears that each ballot is numbered and for some reason despite being only number 17 today I fell out of sequence so they spent almost 20 minutes trying to "re-sequence" ballots so my ballot would match their rooster.

Seems like jobs were handed out without much training or enthusiasm.

Nov. 02 2010 10:03 AM
Kate from Astoria

Voted at Henry David Thoreau School in Astoria. 37th District. Poll workers at the table for the district didn't instruct voters to turn over ballot and vote for Proposition 1 and 2. 2 out of 3 of them didn't know they were even on the ballot. Further, all of them did not know about the yellow card (instructing voters about ballot printing issues, overvoting, etc.) and didn't know where it was. Privacy area was very dark so it was hard to see the ballot. Yellow card WAS posted in the privacy areas but the poll workers should know that and point it out to voters. One man was at the scanners "helping". 3 out of 4 of the scanners were working (so, one was broken at before 10 AM). The man had 1 person going at a time even though there were three scanners working. He was rude, speaking with people, and was standing over voters as they scanned in the ballots. When it was my turn I refused to put my ballot in until he turned his back or walked away stating "privacy issues". He did comply but why did I have to say ANYTHING! Reported this to the Board of Elections via phone and they agreed this was REALLY bad. Oh, I always thought people volunteered to staff the polls here but they are PAID! That makes it ten times worse!

Nov. 02 2010 10:02 AM

Astoria - voted approx 9AM @ PS 171 - was #31 in my district, #70 on the scanner I used.

No problems. School had at least 2 other districts. All desks manned. light crowd.
Appeared to have 2 scanners working & a spare available.

Booths had lighting & scanner worked OK.

Nov. 02 2010 10:01 AM
Peter from Washington Heights

I voted around 9 a.m. There was an official from the Board of Elections trying to rally the troops, saying that they were going to need "all hands on deck" in the evening, and reminding the workers to remind the voters that the ballot initiatives were on the reverse side of the ballot. When I went to insert my ballot in the tabulating machine the poll worker had me take my ballot completely out of the privacy sleeve. They should not do that. We should be able to slip the ballot into the machine without anyone seeing how we voted

Nov. 02 2010 09:59 AM
Barbara Abrash from 13th and Broadway, Manhattan

Confusing set-up. Not clear which table to go to for my ballot.

No magnifying glass in the voting cubbyhole I was assigned, but when I finally got one, it was impossible to read the ballot. Two poll workers helped me read it - but they had trouble, too. Helpful person misunderstood my voting preference on term limits, but changing my vote would have required starting over.

They should get some kindergarten teachers in there to demonstrate how to organize a bunch of people early in the morning.

Nov. 02 2010 09:52 AM
Mike from Brooklyn

District 101 in north Brooklyn was good. No lines no problems. Poll workers were very nice and helpful. I agree with the complaints about type size and table height. I'm 34 and I had trouble reading the ballot. The lack of privacy is also a bit strange, I miss the old curtain....

Nov. 02 2010 09:50 AM
Corinne from Scarsdale, NY

I voted in Scarsdale this morning and I am frightened with my ballot experience. In the same row that Green Party candidates were listed for other offices, there were two judge candidates running under the Right to Life Party. Essentially, if someone were to vote across the party line, in Scarsdale if they did that for the Green Party, they would find themselves voting for judge candidates that are completely opposite than what they believe. I find that to be incredibly misleading and potentially very damaging.

Nov. 02 2010 09:45 AM
gabrielle from greenpoint, bk

voted in Greenpoint. no lines. no problems with the ballot.

Nov. 02 2010 09:44 AM
Mary Madsen from Windsor Terrace

I voted at 7am and hope turnout has picked up since then. I didn't have any problem with the new ballot, my bifocals were enough to be able to read the names. The circles beneath the names were pretty straightforward, I don't think there will be issues with people voting for the wrong candidate. I was pleasantly surprised with the back of the ballot, the propositions weren't tiny, they filled the entire space, no trouble reading those either. Scanning was easy. I miss the satisfying thunk of pulling the old lever but other than that I thought the new system was fine.

Nov. 02 2010 09:44 AM
Susan from Astoria, NY

Voted at 8:15 am. No lines, not many people there. I was the 37th person to scan a ballot on my particular scanner.

Jeez, the type on that ballot was tiny! Should've put on my reading glasses. I also should have read up on the ballot initiatives because that second one was a doozy. I abstained.

Nov. 02 2010 09:41 AM
Karla from Clinton Hills, Brooklyn

Voted at 8:30 a.m. Everything went smoothly as it did during the primaries. I like the new system. I think the forms are fine and find the complaints about them to be exaggerated. If you are a person who has difficulty reading smaller print, you should already have reading glasses and should remember to bring them with you when voting.

Nov. 02 2010 09:37 AM
Beatrice from Ft. Greene, Brooklyn

I voted this morning at Brooklyn Tech. The process was very smooth, and the poll workers were helpful, but thank god I took my reading glasses. Even with reading glasses and bifocal contacts, I couldn't read the form on the very low voting tables. Throwing privacy to the wind, I ended up holding the ballot on top of the voting booth wall in order to be able to read it. I'd suggest a bigger font and taller voting booths. I'm 45 now, so my eyesight will only get worse.

Nov. 02 2010 09:28 AM
Carol from West Village

Voted at 9:15am. Pole workers seemed well informed and prepared. It was busier than I expected. Big problem with the type size and legibility of the ballot. I am over 50 and had two pair of glasses with me. I couldn't focus with either pair. To use that tiny, light, condensed type face was impossible. The so-called magnifier they provided was not helpful at all. I hope they get this corrected for the next election or folks without perfect eyesight like myself will be discouraged from participating.

Nov. 02 2010 09:26 AM
darcy lockman from forest hills

Voting is exhilarating, but the font size is ridiculous! I am young(ish) with good eyes and i had to strain to read it!

Nov. 02 2010 09:11 AM
Park Slope - voting @ PS 282 from Park Slope Poll Site #B0089 @ PS 282

At my polling place in Park Slope (PS 282), privacy screens had been added at the scanners since the primaries. However, of the 5 scanning machines, 3 appeared broken as of 7:30AM, 1 was not turned on, and 1 was functioning properly. It didn't leave me with a warm and fuzzy feeling about the process.

Nov. 02 2010 09:10 AM
Erin in Inwood from Inwood upper Manhattan

The poll workers were incredibly rude. This is unusual as they are normally quite friendly. They were condescending. Couldn't spell my name, so took forever to find my son's and my names in the book. Instead of realizing she couldn't spell, even though I was spelling the name for her, the poll worker questioned if I was in the right line. After reassuring her I was in the right line (since my neighbors had gone ahead of me successfully), she had to investigate. Then found that I was in the right line and started again to search for my name. When she finally found my name, where it is supposed to be by the rules of the alphabet, she handed me my ballot, and then my son his ballot, and told us to proceed to the privacy booths. By this time the line was out the door for our table only. It wasn't until I left the polling station that I realized that I hadn't signed the book. I went back in and told her, signed, and saw that my son had not signed either. I guess my son could vote again if he chose to do so.

Nov. 02 2010 09:07 AM
beth from West Windsor NJ

I live in West Windsor NJ and saw for the first time in my life a challenger - working for Sipprelle of course. I guess that's all that loser has. It was actually very disturbing.

Nov. 02 2010 09:01 AM
Steve S. from Washington Heights

Voted this morning at Highbridge Rec Center. Almost no pens behind the privacy kiosks. When I went up to scan my ballot, a poll worker took it from me, looked it over, and then scanned it himself. I don't know if he turned it over. Maybe not. But my real question is, why the expletive is someone looking at my ballot before it goes into the system. I called the BoE and they told me the guy was just making sure I filled it in correctly. NOT OK.

Nov. 02 2010 09:01 AM
Steve S. from Washington Heights

Voted this morning at Highbridge Rec Center. Almost no pens behind the privacy kiosks. When I went up to scan my ballot, a poll worker took it from me, looked it over, and then scanned it himself. I don't know if he turned it over. Maybe not. But my real question is, why the expletive is someone looking at my ballot before it goes into the system. I called the BoE and they told me the guy was just making sure I filled it in correctly. NOT OK.

Nov. 02 2010 09:00 AM
Nick from Flushing

Voted this morning at around 8:10; I was #22 at my table. The process is simple enough for anyone who has been paying attention and is well informed. Only issues I have are: 1. The font is still nearly microscopic, in my opinion, for us older folks, (that is, anyone over 40.); and 2. The poll workers are still "helping" too much. They need to give the voter all the verbal info at the beginning of the process, at the table, and then LEAVE THE VOTER ALONE. When the voter approaches the scanner and they take his/her index card, they should then GET AWAY from the voter and the scanner. They are still hovering!

Nov. 02 2010 09:00 AM
BR from Brooklyn Heights District 12

Let's put the real candidates on the ballot; Goldman Sachs, Bank of American, JP Morgan, and the rest of the usual suspects.

Nov. 02 2010 08:57 AM
Lee from Upper West Side, NYC

The scanner at 250 W 94th St broke this morning when the very first ballot went in!

And don't forget to flip over the ballot... I forgot!

Nov. 02 2010 08:52 AM
Linda Jones from Lower East Side

ED061 Lower East Side. Workers are oh so helpful. The woman ahead of me explicitly said she needed no help, but two workers hovered over her as she scanned her ballot. I had to state rudely "back off" to get them away from me.

Nov. 02 2010 08:38 AM
James Stoney from Whitestone, NY

I was voter #2 at Whitestone NY District 21. The BOE staff seemed not to know how to run the system. I was handed a ballot, no one pointed out that there were 2 Questions to be voted on on the reverse side, I was not informed of the error on the voting instructions and only after I voted and was standing in line at the single scanner that worked-an official grabbed my ballot and asked why I was using the WRONG ballot! I turns out that the BOE staff had handed be the Substitute ballot not the correct scannable ballot!!! So back to square one,
New ballot, fill it out again, and again no one said "Tuen it over and vote for the 2 issues on the reverse".

Nov. 02 2010 08:30 AM
Mia from Astoria

Arrived to vote at 7:10a. All went quickly and fine. The woman explaining the ballot to me did not tell me to turn it over. I asked and she said "oh yes you can read all of this if you like". Hopefully everyone will know from the voter guide (which is how I knew).
Scanners were all functioning just fine. Only thing I didn't understand was what to do with my privacy sleeve (that no one else was using).

I miss the lever, though.

Nov. 02 2010 08:25 AM
Evan from Kips Bay

PS 116 - District 97
I was one of few in my polling place at 6:45. It went flawlessly. I'd like to thank WNYC for letting me know that I should turn the paper over for the referendum items as I didn't see any notice about it in the booth. I'd like to thank 20 years of standardized testing for preparing me to fill in bubbles. Finally, I'd like to report that the emotional rush of pulling the lever in the booth just wasn't there when I sent my ballot through the scanner.

Nov. 02 2010 08:15 AM
Ricardo from Murray Hill

6 AM: I was the first voter at my table. Everything went flawlessly: polling station opened on time, workers knew what to do, ballot was clear, scanner worked well, the whole process took just 6 minutes.But, as predicted in the media, something had to go wrong: as I was leaving PS 122 where I voted a pigeon defecated on my favorite hat.

Nov. 02 2010 08:02 AM
Kim from Hell's Kitchen

District 99 - W. 52nd Street: At 7 am all of the scanners were already broken at my polling place.
The woman who looks up the voter's name in the book for each district didn't have a pen for me to use to sign under my name. The gentleman sitting next to her with nothing to do had a pen in his hand. I suggested we borrow his pen while she rummages through her purse looking for another pen. She looked at me and said, "That's his pen, he might need it."
Finally we convinced her to borrow his pen so I could sign my name. After completing my ballot it was just dropped into a slot since the scanners are broken, and I'm sure it will not be counted.

Nov. 02 2010 07:45 AM

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