Electoral Dysfunction Erupts: Dateline, New York City, September 13, 2012
It’s election day in my fair city. Primary election day.
Being the dutiful citizen that I am, I set off to vote mid-day. It’s a beautiful day here. The sun is shining. A light breeze is blowing. It’s in the high 70s.
Now, I don’t want to brag, but I’m a pretty organized person about my voting. So I took out the nice form the board of elections sent me a month ago to confirm my polling place location. And it was the same one it’s been for the last nine years.
I walked there, checked in and oops. Wrong polling station. The very nice poll workers—who told me I look like Marg Helgenberger from CSI so I love them already—directed me to the correct polling station. They filled out an official slip of paper and sent me on my way.
This second polling station was almost two miles away. I live in the city—no car (it’s Brooklyn baby)—so I take my twenty minute walk in good spirits. I get there —and you know where this is going, right?—wrong polling station. Hmpf. I go home. I look up the polling place on the handy on-line locator. It’s half a block from where I live.
Third time’s the charm. I’m on the rolls. I get my ballot.
But being the geek that I am, I decided to test the system. There were two races at issue. There were two candidates for each race. The ballot did not say how many ovals I should fill in. And how was I to know? After all we perhaps might be sending two people to the 52d AD State Committee. So I filled in two ovals to see what would happen. And you know, good for the poll workers and the machine. It caught the mistake, spat out my ballot and told me I had over voted. True the error message was gibberish, but I knew what they meant. They gave me a new ballot, and I filled it out correctly.
Oh, except for one funny thing. That 52d AD State Committee race: it had two candidates on the ballot. But one of them suspended her campaign on July 30.
Three polling places and more than an hour walking to get to the right one.
One out of two races on the ballot incorrectly printed.
First Image: Where I finally voted
Last Image: Where I first went to vote
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