I hope that the Board of Elections or whoever is in charge of the early voting will get a wake-up call for future voting.
There has to be accommodations for the elderly and disabled who cannot walk a long distance from their cars only to stand in a long line of waiting. So far, I have driven past the polling place three times, three different days, each time giving up and driving home. Parking appeared to be at least two blocks away, and the lines were unbelievable.
I’m thinking that on Election Day the polls will be empty.
Am I missing something here? I thought early voting was done — because of COVID-19 — so people could avoid lines and crowds. Yet, over the past few days, I have seen long lines and wait times of about four or five hours; what did that accomplish? I’ll wait until Nov. 3.
While I agree with much of your editorial on the frustration of early voting, "Many reasons to vote early," I would like to point out that Nassau County Democrats have advocated for more than the 15 early voting sites now allowed.
Among other places, we have sought to add Long Beach, Glen Cove and Great Neck to the list and have been thwarted by the Republican Board of Elections commissioner, who must also agree. Moreover, we also have advocated for more voting machines, larger and better sites, and longer hours. All of those positions have been opposed by our Republican colleagues.
Nassau County has more than 1 million registered voters. Suffolk and other counties throughout the state also suffer with too few early voting sites and too few machines. The State Legislature should amend the early vote law to require a minimum of one site for every 50,000 voters along with a minimum number of hours of voting each day. In addition, each site needs to have at least four voting machines, and five would be better. Boards of elections should be required to make special accommodations for the elderly and disabled, who should not have to wait on long lines to exercise their constitutional right to vote.
That said, having spent the weekend visiting most of the voting sites in Nassau County, I can only commend the competence and professionalism of both the Democratic and Republican poll workers who I witnessed at every poll site I visited.
Jay S. Jacobs,
Editor’s note: The writer is chairman of the New York State and Nassau County Democratic committees.