Voters, pols say poll site mix-ups were rampant


| mchan@queenscourier.com |

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A series of mix-ups, stemming from confusion from both voters and poll workers, plagued several election sites in the borough during last week’s primary, according to local elected officials.

Assemblymember Mike Miller — who bested his opponent, Etienne David Adorno, by a 71 to 29 percent margin — said he had to battle several slipups by poll site workers and the Board of Elections (BOE) last Thursday, September 13, before securing his win.

A major mishap, he said, occurred for the first four hours on election day, when a poll site inspector at P.S. 113 in Glendale shooed away Democratic voters, saying there was only a Republican and Independent primary in the 38th District.

“That was a major issue,” said Miller, who is now running unopposed in the upcoming November general election. “It could have cost both of us votes. It was a crazy day. We just wanted to get it taken care of.”

At least five different individuals looking to exercise their rights were also misled by poll workers at P.S. 239, the incumbent said. They were sent back and forth between the Ridgewood elementary school and Christ Tabernacle in Glendale, which is almost a mile away. A Woodhaven woman was also denied an affidavit ballot at P.S. 97, Miller said.

Several poll sites across the city changed after recent redistricting redrew the boundaries of election districts, said BOE spokesperson Valerie Vazquez. Alternative poll sites also needed to replace numerous locations throughout all five boroughs, including 51 in Queens, that were found not to be handicap accessible, she said.

But some mailers sent out by the BOE last month notifying voters they had new stations were given the incorrect address, officials said. Vasquez said the agency was under pressure to get the mailers out between August 1 and 5 and said some voting sites were incorrect as a result.

State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, who also claimed victory in her district race, said her office fielded a mixture of complaints last Thursday, primarily stemming from people who were sent to the wrong polling place.

  • Janet Henne

    Many, many voters did not even receive the notice of the new polling sites, including myself. I have lived at my address for 50 years and have been a poll worker (including as coordinater) for at least 20 years. I felt that it would have been easier and more efficient to vote in Iraq.

  • Steven Arfa

    I went to my correct polling site, but was told that there was no primary in my election district (21), but only in election district 23. This was not correct. I attempted to contact Toby Stavisky since I was prevented from voting for her, but she never got back to me.