democracy

Blame for Election Day Failures Placed on Board of Elections and Albany

Voting lines wrap around McGuinness senior center in Greenpoint on midterm election day 2018.

The outrage caused by widespread voting machine breakdowns throughout New York City on midterm election day is largely falling on the shoulders of Board of Elections Director Michael Ryan.

At Greenpoint’s polling sites wait-times exceeded two hours throughout the day, as ballot scanners overheated, jammed and simply stopped working. Greenpoint was not alone, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams counted 49 poll sites facing similar dilemmas.

Voter turnout increased 88 percent in NYC this year for the midterm elections compared with the 2014 midterms, but decreased by nearly one million voters compared with the 2016 presidential elections, according to Gothamist.

BOE director Ryan said that 56 ballot scanners were taken out of service on Tuesday between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m., the 15-hour window which saw 1.9 million NYC voters — each with two double-sided ballots — overwhelm the eight-year-old scanners that were expected to be used for 10 years. 6,000 calls were made to 311 pertaining to election day woes.

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Broken Machines, Two-Hour Lines Setback Voting in Greenpoint

As a wave of eager voters arrived at their poll sites across New York City today, tens of thousands of Brooklynites faced extended lines with wait times over two-hours due to malfunctioning ballot scanners. The resiliency of NYC voters was on full display as they waited through the chaos, likely wondering why New York doesn’t have early voting.

The line at John Ericsson Middle School 126 (424 Leonard St.) in Greenpoint wrapped down the hall outside of the voting room and the wait time was over two hours at 2 p.m., after four out of six ballot scanners stopped working.

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Elections Are Tomorrow (11/6), It’s Time to Vote

(Courtesy of Brett Nielson)

It’s time to study up on your ballot options, find your poll site and vote tomorrow (11/6) in what is regarded as one of the most consequential midterm elections in history. Our traditionally blue state registered 108,801 Democrats and 5,077 Republicans between Nov. 1, 2017 and Nov. 1, 2018; the youth vote is also expected to increase, unlike recent midterm elections.

Here’s a rundown on the federal and state candidates, and the three local ballot initiatives.

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Vote For Your Favorite Participatory Budgeting Projects April 7-15th!

NYC Participatory Budgeting

The old adage tells us that “you can’t fight city hall.” Often, in New York, it can feel like it’s residents vs. the City, but sometimes, Gotham and its elected officials are on the same page. One of those times is during participatory budgeting, when “community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget.” It’s a rare instance when the City Council gives New Yorkers “Real Money. Real Power.” to improve their communities. So get ready to wield that power, because the next participatory budgeting vote will take place April 7th- April 15th!

There’s a million dollars on the line, and you can vote for up to 5 projects that will receive the funds. The proposed projects call for improvements to schools, parks, libraries, public housing, and other public or community spaces subject to “discretionary funds.” All projects were suggested by community members, and the winners will be chosen by the community!

Out of 150 proposed projects, neighborhood volunteers whittled the choices down to 9 projects you can vote on, based on “equity, feasibility, cost, and need.” And it’s not to late to help out! If you’d like to volunteer as a poll worker, you can RSVP here!

Read on for your 2018 PB Projects and voting sites!  Continue reading

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