There were a few glitches, but overall voting seemed to go more smoothly in the city Tuesday than during the problem-plagued Sept. 14 primary.
“There’s a clear improvement over the primary; a lot of lessons have been learned,” said Gene Russianoff, staff attorney for NYPIRG.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who blasted the “royal screw up” during the primary, on Tuesday praised his first experience with the new paper ballots and electronic scanners at P.S. 6 on the Upper East Side. (He didn’t vote in the primary because he is not registered with a party.)
“I didn’t have any problems,” the mayor, 68, said. “I think the printing is small for somebody my age with my eyes. I don’t like the fact that it’s very visible as to what you do. …. We should have a computer, rather than a piece of paper. But this is the system we have.”
Twitterers chirped about grumpy or snoopy poll workers, long lines and the occasional jammed scanner. The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund received a handful of complaints about too few translators and Korean-language ballots available at a Chinatown site.
Many of the complaints that NYPIRG, the League of Women Voters and the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund got involved the ballot’s small font size and confusing design; a problem that can only be remedied by legislative action.
T.K. Small, 45, a lawyer and radio host who is in a power wheelchair and has encountered enormous obstacles trying to use the Ballot Marking Device at his Brooklyn Heights polling place, was astonished at how smoothly voting went Tuesday. He was out in 30 minutes, whereas previous forays were frustrating, all-day marathons.
“I want to give (the Board of Elections) credit,” said Small, noting that the workers at his polling site this time seemed “sharper,” and the Ballot Marking Device worked properly. “When people do better than they have in the past, you have to acknowledge them.”
Before the polls closed Tuesday, the city's 311 service logged 645 voting ballot or machine complaints, 584 poll site complaints and 156 poll worker complaints, the Mayor's Office said.