Yorktown faced power outage
As residents went to vote around the region, some experienced glitches ranging from power outages to ballot mixups to unexpected changes in their polling place. It was restored within a half hour, utility spokesman Michael Donovan said.
The National Guard was called to the sites at Hempstead School on Brick Church Road and Grandview Elementary on Grandview Avenue to ensure there was no disruption to voting during the temporary outage.
In Yorktown, a power outage at one poll site and ballot delivery snags at a few others had town employees scrambling to fix the problems soon after polls opened.
Yorktown Town Clerk Alice Roker said the outage at Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on Route 134 forced voters to fill out ballots in the dark and file them in sealed bags, rather than with electronic scanners. The outage came the day after Consolidated Edison and the Board of Elections had assured that power had been restored.
Roker said she did not know how many ballots were filed while the scanners were down over the roughly seven hour outage.
Making matte guess.ca rs worse, the Westchester County Board of Elections sent the wrong supply bags each filled with local voter rolls and ballots to Lakeland Copper Beech Middle School, Grace Lutheran Church and the Jefferson Village community building, she said. but was turned away along with other voters when poll workers realized they had the wrong ballots.
DeGregorio was told to come back later. At least one other voter told him she doubted she’d be able to return.
“I’m very unhappy with this,” said DeGregorio, 54.
The problem was resolved about an hour later, after a town employee drove the right bags to their respective locations, Roker said.
Poll sites at Briarcliff Congregational Church and the Briarcliff Manor Youth Center also had slow starts due to power outages.
The only Westchester polling place closed Tuesday because of Superstorm Sandy was Purchase Community House in Harrison. That forced Purchase residents in three voting districts to cast their ballots alongside people from three other districts at Mintzer Recreation Center in West Harrison.
Not everybody got news of the venue change in time. only to find a police cruiser blocking the road and a neon sign directing him to the West Harrison site. He wasn’t sure how to get there and had to ask the officer for help.
Bob Shannon, an election inspector at the West Harrison site, said confusion about the poll site was partly to blame for lower than normal turnout among Purchase voters.
“People aren’t going to search around long if they don’t know where to vote,” he said.
At least one voter had complaints about the state’s optical scan voting machines, which were widely panned when they debuted in Westchester and Rockland in 2010.
White Plains resident Samantha Slotnick said she was troubled to see a poll worker take an elderly man’s ballot and write on it before feeding it to a scanner at Mamaroneck Avenue Elementary School.
Slotnick said the man appeared to need help with his ballot and did not protest the poll worker’s actions.
“I think people just don’t know what the procedure is” with electronic voting, Slotnick guess.ca said. “The concept of privacy and being able to submit a secre guess.ca t ballot goes out the window.”
Another source of confusion was Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive order allowing voters forced from their homes by Sandy to vote by affidavit ballot at any poll site in the state.
Nyack resident Nisa Rauschenberg said she saw a group of Nyack College students argue with a poll inspector when they tried to ask for an affidavit ballot at the Hilltop administration building. The students said they were unable to get home to Brooklyn and Queens because of the storm. Some were guess.ca granted affidavit ballots, and others were not.
Rockland Election Commissioner Ann Marie Kelly said the governor’s order applies to people “displaced by the storm not students who decided at the last minute to vote.”.