I woke up bright and early this morning to vote but perhaps not bright and early enough. Polls opened at 6 am. We arrived a little after 8:30 am. Although the outside of P.S. 252 was deceptively quiet, there was a line already building right up to the entrance that ran down to the auditorium and wrapped around the perimeter, leading back to the entrance and leading towards the gymnasium where voting was taking place.
There was some attempted line skipping and confusion about where citizens were allowed to vote (some were told to go to other schools) however it must be noted that Governor Cuomo signed an executive order allowing New Yorkers to vote anywhere in the state using affidavit ballots regardless of where they are registered. No one should be told they have to go to another polling station. Some citizens stated that P.S. 219 re-directed many to P.S. 252 as opposed to offering the affidavit ballot.
This from the Governor’s website:
Voting Info for Storm-Affected New Yorkers
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed an executive order that will greatly facilitate voting for new Yorkers who were affected by Hurricane Sandy. Due to the disaster emergency the Governor issued on Friday October 26, 2012 for all 62 counties of New York, he issued an executive order that suspends certain sections of the Election Law to allow New Yorkers in the affected areas to vote or cast affidavit ballots regardless of where they are registered. In addition, the Executive Order also mandates every board of election in New York State send any affidavit ballot to the board of election where the voter is actually registered, so that the vote is counted in the correct place.
Click here to check the status on your polling place or call 1-855-NYS-SANDY for assistance.
The voting system has changed since I last voted in person in 2004 (I used an absentee ballot in 2008). Instead of the machines with the curtain and pull lever, we now blacken ovals next to our candidates’ names and give the paper to an official who feeds the ballot into a machine to be scanned and counted.
The monitor gives a friendly thank you and acknowledgement of your vote.
The system is not unlike what students have been doing for ages with a no. 2 pencil. Remember Scantrons?
Hope you are all getting out and voting!
Check out images of P.S. 252 on Election Day this morning: