Eric Schneiderman for Attorney General

Election Day problems included broken voting machines throughout state, AG’s office reports

November 10, 2016

As published by am New York on November 9, 2016.

Election Day went far from smoothly in some parts of New York State.

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office said it received 764 reports of problems at polls across the state. The biggest issue was broken polling machines that led to heavy delays, according to a spokeswoman.

At some sites, people had to wait up to two hours on line before they could cast their votes due to glitches with scanners. In Manhattan’s IS 52, five out of six scanners were reported to be broken, leading to a 100-person line, according to the Attorney General’s office.

Some of the city locations with reported problems were 90 Bennett Ave. in Washington Heights; The Prince George Hotel at 14 East 28th St., Murray Hill; 21 Spring St., Lower East Side; and Andrew Jackson High School in Cambria Heights, Queens.

Outside of PS 59 in midtown Manhattan, a voter line stretched almost around the entire city block at 56th Street and Second Avenue, according to the AG’s office.

On top of the long vote times, there were also reports of poll worker misinformation. In at least 10 instances reported to the attorney general, poll workers were telling voters that they needed to vote “down the party line.”

The AG’s office said it has contacted the city Board of Elections about specific complaints.

The board did send a directive at 4 p.m. Tuesday to inform poll workers that voters could choose to split their ticket if they so desired, the AG’s office said.

Michael J. Ryan, the executive director of the NYC BOE, assured that everyone’s vote would be counted. The board documented scanner issues at 14 of the 1,025 poll sites, according to the BOE. Ryan said Tuesday night that 61 teams were being sent across the city to handle any issues at polls.

“We’ve been doing that with great dispatch throughout the day,” said Ryan, who added that the board was responding to problems to the best of its ability. “The long lines, we don’t like them but the voters are handling them well.”

Earlier Tuesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said there were no major concerns about poll troubles, but he called on the State Legislature to enact changes to make voting easier.

“There is a better way, which is early voting,” he told reporters after he voted in Park Slope.