I was the first voter to show up at my polling place. Voting was supposed to begin exactly at 12:00 PM. The machine wasn’t ready at noon, when voting was supposed to begin. At around 12:10, the lady finally started looking for my name in the book & couldn’t find it. This happened to me in the 2004 election, despite my having voted in every election and primary here since 1996, so I spoke up. They made me fill out a damned absentee ballot that year and I’m still annoyed about it since, you know, they don’t count those until after the election & they are meaningless unless the outcome is in dispute. Another poll worker came after a few minutes and found my name; it was in a different book.
People who got into line behind me left without voting. Then they had trouble finding the right ballot to give me. Eventually I got my ballot and filled in the dots. The machine still wasn’t working; they said the monitor was inoperative. They took my ballot anyway and said it would be entered as an “emergency ballot”, whatever that means.
The first time the young man put my ballot into the machine, it got spit back out & he said there was an error message. Not that I could see, because I wasn’t allowed anywhere near the freaking machine. Then a woman who had been on the phone trying to find out how to fix the machine came over and had him insert it a different way and it went in. It was after 12:30 pm by the time my vote, the first of the day there, had been cast. I have no idea if it will even count.
Before I left, one of the poll workers disclosed to me that they had only been allowed to even start setting up the room at 11:30, a half an hour before go time, and as I said, they weren’t ready at 12:00 PM when the polls are supposed to start accepting votes. 40 minutes of my life wasted and my vote most likely disenfranchised, again.
According to the NY Post and my local paper, the Poughkeepsie Journal, what happened at my polling place was definitely not an isolated incident; it has been all screwed up state-wide.
They better get their stuff together before November – they should have gotten it together before today!
Cross-posted at my PolitiZilla Blog complete with swear words that were omitted here.