Tag Archives: voting

Thousands voting in tent at Rockaway supersite


| brennison@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Billy Rennison

Superstorm Sandy relocated dozens of poll sites including eight in the Rockaways that were housed at a single “supersite” at P.S. 180 in Rockaway Park.

A tent was set up outside the school for the thousands of residents from throughout the peninsula who were funneled to the site.

Locals came from as far as three miles away, a far cry from the couple of blocks many residents are used to.

“It’s not perfect, it’s far, it’s outside and it’s dusty, but it hasn’t been too bad,” said Janet Doherty, who came from Arverne to vote.

Others were frustrated with the confusion, long lines and bouncing from site to site.

“I already was sent away from one site, and now they can’t find my name here,” said one voter as she waited on line at the information table.

“No one told me the site’s changed.  With all that’s been happening, how are we supposed to know,” said Marc Lillard.

The BOE did not contact individual voters instead relying on good government organizations and media to get word out.  Twenty-eight Queens poll sites were changed after the storm.

Approximately 1,800 showed up at the site as of 2:30 p.m. to vote, with thousands more expected at night.

The day got off to a bumpy start when the site’s generators had no gas leaving the tent without heat and lights, said John Bougiamas, an administrative associate with the Board of Elections.  Bougiamas said the location now has enough gas to last them until at least 9 p.m.

Many poll site workers were also unable to reach the new site forcing the BOE to hold a special training session yesterday and ship the newly trained workers to Rockaway.

“We run elections and we’re doing our best to run an election,” said Bougiamas.

As voters entered the tent they were sent to separate corners which housed each of the different election districts.

“All things considered things have run fairly smoothly,” said Elliot Harris, a volunteer at the site.

But Harris is worried about the conditions after nightfall.

“It’s going to be worse later.  It’s going to be colder, it’s going to be dark,” he said.  “People don’t want to be walking around Rockaway when it’s dark.”

28 polls sites changed in Queens due to Sandy


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Cast your ballot on Tuesday, November 6.

Due to damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, 28 poll sites were forced to be moved for Election Day on Tuesday, November 6.

Click here to see which poll sites have changed.

“The Board surveyed and assessed all polling sites in each borough and determined the usability and accessibility of each poll site in advance of this Tuesday’s election. We have consolidated some poll sites and found alternative locations for others,” the Board of Elections said in a release.

Most of the poll sites forced to move in Queens were in the Rockaways.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said this will effect about 143,000 voters in the city.

Click here to find your polling site.

“Over the next day, it’s going to be critical that the Board of Elections communicate this new information to their poll workers. Unfortunately, as you know, the Board has had a history of not opening all poll sites on time, and they’re going to work hard to make sure that poll workers and voters know where they’re supposed to go on Election Day,” Bloomberg said,

Shuttle service will be provided to assist voters in getting to their poll sites in Far Rockaway.

For those voters who can’t get to their polling site on election day, they can vote in person at their borough’s Board of Election  site until 5 p.m. Monday, November 5. In Queens, the office is located at 126-06 Queens Boulevard
Kew Gardens (718-730-6730).

Poll site changes in Queens: 

OLD: Young Israel, 716 Beach 9 Street, Far Rockaway, NY 11691
NEW: MS 53-Brian Piccolo, 10-45 Nameoke Street, Far Rockaway, NY 11691

OLD: Redfern Community Center, 15-44 Hassock Street, Far Rockaway, NY 11691
NEW: MS 53-Brian Piccolo, 10-45 Nameoke Street, Far Rockaway, NY 11691

OLD: 7-11 Seagirt Avenue, Far Rockaway, NY 11691
NEW: MS 53-Brian Piccolo, 10-45 Nameoke Street, Far Rockaway, NY 11691

OLD: PS 207-Rockwood Park, 159-15 88 Street, Howard Beach, NY 11414
NEW: PS 232-Lindenwood, 153-23 83rd Street, Howard Beach, NY 11414

OLD: Ocean Park Apartments, 120 Beach 19 Street, Far Rockaway, NY 11691
NEW: MS 53-Brian Piccolo, 10-45 Nameoke Street, Far Rockaway, NY 11691

OLD: PS 146-Howard Beach, 98-01 159 Avenue, Howard Beach, NY 11414
NEW: PS 232-Lindenwood, 153-23 83rd Street , Howard Beach, NY 11414

OLD: Israel Senior Housing , 1925 Seagirt Boulevard, Far Rockaway, NY 11691
NEW: MS 53-Brian Piccolo, 10-45 Nameoke Street, Far Rockaway, NY 11691

OLD: PS 215-Lucretia Mott, 5-35 Briar Place, Far Rockaway, NY 11691
NEW: Far Rockaway HS, 821 Bay 25 Street, Far Rockaway, NY 11691

OLD: Allen AME Senior Center, 112-04 167 Street, Jamaica, NY 11433
NEW: PS 140-Edward K. Elllington, 166-11 116 Avenue, Jamaica, NY 11434

OLD: Brookdale Village Senior Center, 131 Beach 19th Street, Far Rockaway, NY 11691
NEW: Far Rockaway HS , 821 Bay 25 Street, Far Rockaway, NY 11691

OLD: Hillcrest HS, 160-05 Highland Avenue, Jamaica, NY 11432
NEW: Thomas A. Edison HS, 165-65 84 Avenue, Jamaica, NY 11432

OLD: Beach 41st Community Center, 426 Beach 40 Street, Far Rockaway, NY 11691
NEW: Far Rockaway HS , 821 Bay 25 Street,  Far Rockaway, NY 11691

OLD: Blessed Trinity Church, 204-25 Rockaway Point Boulevard, Breezy Point, NY 11697
NEW: PS 180, 320 Beach 104th Street, Rockaway Park, NY 11694

OLD: Ocean Village, 57-07 Shore Front Parkway Arverne, NY 11692
NEW: Far Rockaway HS , 821 Bay 25 Street, Far Rockaway, NY 11691

OLD: PS 114-Belle Harbor, 134-09 Cronston Avenue, Rockaway Park, NY 11694
NEW: PS 180, 320 Beach 104th Street, Rockaway Park, NY 11694

OLD: Seaside Library, 116-15 Rockaway Beach Boulevard, Rockaway Park, NY 11694
NEW: PS 180, 320 Beach 104th Street, Rockaway Park, NY 11694

OLD:  333-Goldie Maple Academy, 365 Beach 57 Street, Arverne, NY 11692
NEW: PS 104-Bays Water, 26-01 Mott Avenue, Far Rockaway, NY 11691

OLD: Dayton Towers West, 102-00 Shore Front Parkway, Rockaway Park, NY 11694
NEW: PS 180, 320 Beach 104th Street, Rockaway Park, NY 11694

OLD: PS 105-The Bay School, 420 Beach 51 Street, Far Rockaway, NY 11691
NEW: PS 104-Bays Water, 26-01 Mott Avenue, Far Rockaway, NY 11691

OLD: Dayton Beach Park 8600, 8600 Shore Front Parkway, Far Rockaway, NY 11693
NEW: PS 180, 320 Beach 104th Street, Rockaway Park, NY 11694

OLD: Arverne Pilgrim Church, 74-16 Beach Channel Drive , Arverne, NY 11692
NEW: PS 104-Bays Water, 26-01 Mott Avenue, Far Rockaway, NY 11691

OLD: Dayton Beach Park 8200, 8200 Shore Front Parkway, Far Rockaway, NY 11693
NEW: PS 180, 320 Beach 104th Street, Rockaway Park, NY 11694

OLD: Beach Channel HS, 100-00 Beach Channel Drive, Rockaway Park, NY 11694
NEW: PS 180, 320 Beach 104th Street, Rockaway Park, NY 11694

OLD: Hammel Comm Center, 81-14 Rockaway Beach Boulevard, Far Rockaway, NY 11693
NEW: PS 104-Bays Water, 26-01 Mott Avenue, Far Rockaway, NY 11691

OLD: Services for the Underserved, 318 Beach 85 Street, Far Rockaway, NY 11693
NEW: PS 180, 320 Beach 104th Street, Rockaway Park, NY 11694

OLD: Dayton Towers East 7400, 7400 Shore Front Parkway, Arverne, NY 11692
NEW: PS 104-Bays Water, 26-01 Mott Avenue, Far Rockaway, NY 11691

OLD: Peninsula Library, 92-25 Rockaway Beach Boulevard, Far Rockaway, NY 11693
NEW: PS 180, 320 Beach 104th Street, Rockaway Park, NY 11694

 

Absentee ballot sent to deceased woman — for more than two years


| brennison@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Billy Rennison

Angela Taborsky believed in the power of voting. She made certain every year to cast a ballot, and when she was no longer able to make the trip to the polling site, she registered for an absentee ballot.

Taborsky died two years ago, but in every election since, she has received an absentee ballot, remaining eligible to vote.

“[My mother] instilled in us that voting was your power to make a difference, but she should not still be given that power from the grave,” said Roseanne Frankel, Taborsky’s daughter.

Frankel has been receiving the official correspondence from the Board of Elections (BOE) at Taborsky’s former Little Neck residence in each election since her mother died in July 2010.

“I can’t be the only one, and who knows if they’re voting,” Frankel said.

The only way to get an individual’s name removed from the election roll is to provide a death certificate or a certified letter to the BOE that the person has died, said Valerie Vazquez, spokesperson for the agency.

Short of this, ballots will continually be sent out until the voter is declared ineligible, a process that could take years. Without notification, the BOE does not know how many ballots are being sent to residents long dead, Vazquez said, or if they are being filled out and counted as votes.

“There would be no way for us to know that,” Vazquez said.

Councilmember Peter Vallone, who sits on the City Council’s Committee on Governmental Operations, which oversees the BOE, said he plans on speaking with the agency to see “what needs to be done to remedy this situation as soon as possible.”

“It doesn’t make sense for the BOE to wait until they receive a death certificate from a family to remove someone from the permanent absentee list,” said Vallone, who is penning a letter to the BOE on the subject. “I’m sure that’s not at the top of a family’s to-do list after a loved one dies, if anyone is even aware of this requirement.”

The BOE’s only defense against someone casting another person’s absentee ballot is the potential jail sentence.

“If you’re filling it out that would be fraudulent,” Vazquez said. “The person who did that would be perpetuating a crime.”

Votes from the deceased has long been an issue throughout the country. In 2006, a Poughkeepsie Journal investigation uncovered as many as 77,000 dead residents on New York’s election rolls, with more than 2,500 of them casting votes.

Last year, the Staten Island Advance discovered thousands of voters still registered with the city long after they died, including former politicians and celebrities. Nationally, more than 1.8 million deceased individuals are listed as voters, according to the Pew Center on the States.

Problems have plagued the BOE, with Mayor Michael Bloomberg calling the agency “incompetent” in July.

Prior to the September primary, the BOE sent out mailers to voters with incorrect poll sites, and several voters were turned away from the polls during primary day mix-ups. This year, Bengali will not be on ballots, though it is required by law,

Of the millions of registered voters in the city, more than 9,000 receive absentee ballots.

Frankel said that with local elections often coming down to the wire, a few votes can make a difference.

“My mother’s dead, I don’t want her deciding any elections.”

October 12 last day to register for general election, mayoral primary


| brennison@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/photo by Alexa Altman

If you want to cast a ballot in this year’s presidential election — or next year’s mayoral primary — October 12 is the last day to register to vote.

New York ranks near the bottom of the country in voter registration; less than 64 percent of eligible residents are registered to vote, ranking the state 47th in the nation.

Click here to find out if you’re registered to vote

To be able to vote in the general elections — which includes president, Congress, Senate and state offices — on November 6, your application must be postmarked no later than Friday, October 12 and received by October 17. You may also register in person at your local Board of Elections or any voter registration center.  Change of addresses must also be received by October 17.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a new initiative in August — online registration — to help increase voter numbers.

According to the governor’s office, registration rates jumped from 28 to 53 percent among voters 18 to 24 in Arizona after online registration was introduced.

Residents can now log on to their computers to register to vote, change their address or update party enrollment.

If you want to register electronically, you can now visit the Department of Motor Vehicle’s “MyDMV” web site.  You will also be able to register paper-free at local DMV offices.

Though it is nearly a year away, unregistered voters or those wishing to switch parties have until October 12 if they would like to vote in the 2013 mayoral primary elections.  City residents cannot change enrollment and vote in that parties primary in the same year.

The city’s Board of Elections website says, “The last day to change your enrollment is the same as the last day to register for the General Election.”

According to the New York Times, “The law is rooted in the notion that closed primaries should not be raided, at the last minute, by outsiders who may want to pick, say, a weaker candidate to run against their preferred choice in a general election.”

ROCK THE VOTE


| qceditorial@queenscourier.com

With the September 13 primary — and its abysmal voter turnout — behind us, it is time to start focusing on the November 6 general election.

If you are not already, we urge you to register to vote.

It’s very easy, and a linchpin of our Democracy.

So, as the slogan goes, “Just do it.”

You can register by mail or in person. Simply visit or call the Board of Elections Queens office, 126-06 Queens Boulevard, Kew Gardens, NY 11415; 718-730-6730, or download the Voter Registration Application at http://vote.nyc.ny.us/. You may also obtain registration forms from libraries, post offices, and most New York City government agencies.

 

Eliminate voter apathy


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Amazingly, consumers seem to be spending, and Americans appear to be shedding the anxieties that have stymied confidence. American optimism is a remarkable resource that defines the U.S. as exceptional among all the nations.

Yet, the problems and threats confronting the world are ongoing and real. The multitude of dangers that could impact the U.S. make for jittery investors and frighten people, including those whose decisions will affect future employment. It also provides fodder for political gamesmanship that disregards the common good seeking electoral advantages.

The foolish vindictiveness of the political wars gave birth to the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street movement. At first glance, these groups would appear as far apart as possible. The common thread is the unfairness felt by their members. Americans have concluded that government and the ground rules that have traditionally governed people’s lives have been turned into political spoils used to secure future support.

Politicians have concluded that most people do not vote. The voters who count are those who do so during primaries. As the most committed voters, they usually represent hardcore advocates of extreme positions. As a consequence, only those seeking an elected office that panders to the extremes have any hope of winning their party’s primary.

Citizens are in the streets across the nation and at rallies decrying anyone who believes that government is a force for good. Probably those who are protesting will participate in the upcoming presidential election process. It would be a shame if potential voters conclude that the process is so alienating as to excuse them from voting. Only when voter apathy is defeated and Americans accept their obligation to participate can America begin healing from the polarizing cancerous political wars that currently are normal.

Edward Horn