New York’s debut of new voting machines during yesterday’s primary was riddled with reports of malfunctioning machines, confused poll workers and late-opening sites.
Watchdogs worried some voters were disenfranchised and wanted to know whether machine breakdowns or poor worker training was at fault.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg called it a “royal screw-up.” “We’ve been told of some poll sites that opened two to four hours late,” he said. “It’s completely unacceptable.”
New York was the last state to comply with updating its machines as part of the federal Help America Vote Act enacted after Florida’s chaotic recount in the 2000 presidential election.
Many — including the city’s Board of Elections — anticipated hiccups.
“[We] knew the change to the new voting system would present additional challenges,” BOE spokeswoman Valerie Vazquez said. Every scanner was beforehand, she said.
Sen. Chuck Schumer was “agitated and unhappy,” according to the Daily News, which said his Park Slope polling site opened 10 minutes after 6 a.m. and then couldn’t boot its machines.