Nov 6, 2012
Voters Face Chaos, Long Lines

Americans began casting their votes on Tuesday with polls showing President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney in a neck-and-neck election. Update: Voters face crazy lines, closed polling places and communication gaps.

Update 4:30 pm

NY Daily News

Crazy lines, closed polling places and communication gaps brought more than the usual chaos to Election Day in the city.

Superstorm Sandy left some voting sites without power and many New Yorkers living far from home. A last-minute state order allowed voters to cast affidavit ballots at any site, but there was plenty of confusion about them.

Even in areas of the city not slammed by the storm, voters waiting to choose a president faced long waits because of broken optical-ballot scanners and a shortage of experienced poll workers. Officials said some sites opened late and one in the Rockaways ran out of generator fuel.

“I kept hearing, ‘What’s this, a third world country?’” Mayor Bloomberg said.

The government watchdog group NYPIRG/Common Cause said that by 11:30 a.m. it had received “hundreds of calls from frustrated voters.”

“The election is depressingly familiar,” the organization said in a statement. “It's clear many New Yorkers will need a lot of patience if they want to cast a ballot.”

Reactions ran from that sobering assessment to downright exasperation.

“This is outrageous, disgraceful and disrespectful to what voting should be,” Councilman Jumaane Williams (D-Brooklyn) said after a visit to a Flatbush church where only one small room had been set aside for the election in the morning.

At other sites, he said, poll workers were giving out misinformation. One facility briefly shut its doors because of crowding. Another turned away voters, he claimed.

At the the Vanderveer Park/United Methodist Church on Glenwood Road in Flatbush, Arlonne Pierre waited two hours on line before she got fed up and started organizing voters.

“There was no line,” she said. "I vote here all the time, and all of a sudden it was total chaos. They told us to come out and vote, but then they weren't prepared to receive us.

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Update 2:00 pm:

A number of Crown Heights residents told COLlive they waited over 2 hours to cast their vote at local polling stations, although there was not much of a line at at least one location at President St. and Brooklyn Avenue at 2:00 pm.

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Update: 1:30 pm

Voters are being met with waits as long as an hour and a half at many of the city's more than 1,1000 polling places. Though Governor Cuomo issued an executive order yesterday that let New Yorkers displaced by the storm cast their vote by affidavit at any polling place, confusion continued to mount after the new locations for dozens of polling places were announced just two days ago.

Voters were encouraged to double check their polling place location on the Board of Election's website or use its Smartphone app. The adjustment has caused disarray at some locations as poll workers struggle to determine which voters require paper ballots and affidavits. The BOE said it is not requiring people to provide proof they were displaced by Sandy in order to vote at a polling place other than their assigned location.

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Reuters

Washington - After a long and bitter White House campaign, Americans began casting their votes on Tuesday with polls showing President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney neck-and-neck in an election that will be decided in a handful of states.

Polling stations opened across the eastern United States and parts of the Midwest as Election Day dawned. At least 120 million people were expected to render judgment on whether to give Obama a second term or replace him with Romney.

Their decision will set the country’s course for four years on spending, taxes, healthcare and foreign policy challenges like the rise of China and Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

National opinion polls show Obama and Romney in a virtual dead heat, although the Democratic incumbent has a slight advantage in several vital swing states - most notably Ohio - that could give him the 270 electoral votes he needs to win.

Romney, the multimillionaire former head of a private equity fund, would be the first Mormon president and one of the wealthiest Americans to occupy the White House. Obama, the first black president, is vying to be the first Democrat to win a second term since Bill Clinton in 1996.

Fueled by record spending on negative ads, the battle between the two men was focused primarily on the lagging economic recovery and persistent high unemployment, but at times it turned personal.

The close presidential race raises the prospect of a disputed outcome similar to the 2000 election, which was decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. Both campaigns have assembled legal teams to deal with possible voting problems, challenges or recounts.

The presidential contest is now likely to be determined by voter turnout - specifically, what combination of Republicans, Democrats, white, minority, young, old and independent voters shows up at polling stations.
Weather could be a factor. Much of the nation was dry and mild, though rain was forecast later on Tuesday in the Southeast, including Florida, an important swing state.

Obama and Romney raced through seven battleground states on Monday to hammer home their final themes, urge supporters to get to the polls and woo the last remaining undecided voters.


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Opinions and Comments
1
Be prepared.....
Voted at 7am and stayed at the polls a bit. Very long lines; if you are home than vote now; after work will be crazy. Be prepared for a long line; just bring a drink and reading material. Don't be discouraged as our neighbors are not.
(11/6/2012 10:15:04 AM)
2
vote and...
MITT a por MITTzvos un a bisel shRAYAN tzum Eibishter Ken men BIDEN de gezerah az O BHAMA Zol nisht zein president!
(11/6/2012 11:30:41 AM)
3
VOTE VOTE VOTE!!!
Romney all the wayyy!
(11/6/2012 12:04:06 PM)
4
Feh!
It's a real battle of the best of the worst. They are BOTH terrible.
(11/6/2012 12:54:40 PM)
5
Meir
B"H
why didn' t you run then #4
(11/6/2012 2:20:39 PM)
6
hints
please bring ur paper u got in the mail some numbers u can get right in with and some u wait so if u go to empire and troy let them know which is ur numbe and u will go much faster
hatzlacha mittttttttttttttttttzvah
(11/6/2012 2:38:01 PM)
7
voter
amazing how there are lines and lines of black people voting, they have no idea whats flying all they know is if a black man is tuning we must vote black
(11/6/2012 2:51:47 PM)
8
important
i waited for 2 hours until i got into the public school on maple st. ,only to be told thisis not my location anymore,i requested an affidavit;meaning i was able to vote with pen and paper in the back ,another yid was told he can't vote there either, i told him to go back and do what i did, i just hope the african americans there will submit my vote and not dump it.....llets hope romney will win,Hashem's help can come in the blink of an eye even when things dont look good...........go vote
(11/6/2012 2:57:05 PM)
9
Obama!
waited for about an hour, not too bad
(11/6/2012 3:11:10 PM)
10
this vote is black and white
there is no gray area (viable third candidate)
(11/6/2012 3:27:05 PM)
11
Aaron
B"H very poor job pac-no one at the voting entrances with information on who to vote for, no notices in Shul, all of which had been done in the past.
(11/6/2012 3:33:19 PM)
12
Rumor has it that....
Obama will have an early lead..... Until the republicans get out of work and go to vote!
(11/6/2012 3:34:34 PM)
13
to #2
i loove ittt
(11/6/2012 3:44:16 PM)
14
outta town...
its really not normal what kind of lines there are... i didnt have this problem but im not sure id wait on line for hours to vote when unfortunately our votes dont really count.. there HAS to be a better way!
(11/6/2012 4:09:40 PM)
15
TO #2
You hit it on the dot.
(11/6/2012 4:10:30 PM)
16
ROMNEY=ISRAEL!!
VOTE ROMNEY SO WE DON'T LOOSE ISRAEL!!!
(11/6/2012 4:27:13 PM)
17
MaidofCH
I voted for Romney (after 1 1/2 hr. wait), but I may as well have voted for Mickey Mouse, since NY is uber-liberal & Obama will get our electoral votes. Most of the people standing in line with me were either black or hipster.
(11/6/2012 4:57:23 PM)
18
I Was Just There
At PS 221. It's a 2 Hour wait.
(11/6/2012 5:36:48 PM)
19
Get a Affidavit
Request an Affidavit, you won't have to wait all that time in line.
(11/6/2012 5:37:42 PM)
20
bubby says
I waited from 9 am till 11:15 - the lady giving out the ballots couldnot read names - took 5 minutes for each person. they have to hire literate people in the future.
(11/6/2012 5:54:10 PM)
21
chaya
With the technology today I dont see why we can not vote on the computer, everything else has changed except the way we vote
(11/6/2012 6:11:49 PM)
22
Empire Blvd.
The wait at the public school on Empire blvd. near Troy ave. was not so long. I went in and out within a half an hour.
Know your district number before you go to avoid confusion and waiting in the long wrong lines.
(11/6/2012 6:39:44 PM)
23
#2
to #2 love it !
(11/6/2012 6:54:15 PM)
24
in the pic
Looks like HaRav A.Y. Schwei in the pic. HaRav S.D. Raichik ZTL always would incourage the frum community 2 vote.
(11/6/2012 6:55:09 PM)
25
confused
I don't get it, so many people in crown heights have food stamps and medicaid. having obama in office will keep these benefits available, if mitt wins who knows what will be? will kol tuv empire kosher and kahns all go out of business? how will everyone pay for their kids at doctor plaut's office? oy vey!!!
(11/6/2012 8:08:12 PM)
26
hurray
hurraaaa! hurraa!!!

hu raa!
(11/6/2012 8:26:52 PM)
27
Feigie
My husband went to the correct polling place. They said he was in the wrong place and couldn't find his name. Told him to go to Willoughby St. To vote!! We filed report with women's league of voters. I voted with absentee ballot at our old polling place!
(11/6/2012 8:29:16 PM)
28
random notes
After an hour and half, I had the guy tell me my name was not on the list and I looked down and pointed to it!! They really need people who can READ to man the polls.
#25 Where is the money to pay for those services supposed to come from eventually? How lazy are you? I understand you may currently need those benefits, but won't you prefer a job in which you can make enough money so you won't need them??!!
And to those who say your vote doesn't count in NY, it doesn't; but imagine if you didn't vote how much more abysmal the numbers would be! At least it reflects that there is some opposition...
(11/6/2012 9:50:17 PM)
29
Its all over....
Obama will be the president for the next four years.
(11/6/2012 10:01:09 PM)
30
to 29
CHAS VESHALOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(11/6/2012 10:05:51 PM)
31
28#
how lazy is the whole crown heights bubba? look at the lines in empire kosher erev shabos. you can count on 1 hand the ppl that dont pay with ebt.
(11/6/2012 10:27:36 PM)
32
romney is winning!!
tracht gut vet zein gut
(11/6/2012 10:57:37 PM)
33
thats all folks
obama is the winner!!! :p
(11/6/2012 11:39:03 PM)
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