FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(914) 471.1753 (cell)
NONPARTISAN ELECTION PROTECTION COALITION IS IN FULL-SWING ASSISTING VOTERS ACROSS NEW YORK CITY
Reports of Late Opening Polls, Lack of Privacy, and Machine Breakdowns
(NEW YORK, NY) SEPTEMBER 14, 2010 - The Election Protection Hotline in New York City-1-866-OUR-VOTE-has taken calls all morning from voters seeking information and assistance this Primary Day. At many locations, confusion reigns, thanks to the introduction of new voting machines.
"While we have gotten numerous reports of polls opening late and problems with the new machines, New Yorkers should know that voting is likely to go more smoothly this afternoon," according to Eric Marshall, manager of legal mobilization at the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. "But if voters do experience problems or have questions, they should call 1-866-OUR VOTE (1-866-687-8683) to have their questions answered or to report a problem. Election Protection will continue to field mobile teams ready to be dispatched to polling places in response to calls and will continue to be in contact with the Board of Elections in the City of New York to help insure that issues will be resolved quickly."
Here are some of the problems that have been reported in New York City this morning:
- Across the city, voters are showing up at their polls to find either poll books missing or voting machines non-functioning. In some locations, the polls were not even open. For instance, a voter reported that, as of 8:30, the poll was still not open at PS34, Norman Avenue, in Brooklyn.
- There were reports of poll workers-and entire polling sites-unprepared for actual voting.
- There were reports of broken voting machines in Brooklyn and Queens and long lines where only one machine was actually functioning.
- A number of voters complained of lack of privacy at the polls due to the new voting machine system.
The 1-866-OUR VOTE (1-866-687-8683) toll-free hotline is available in English and Spanish to any voters who need information, assistance or guidance in understanding their rights. It is open to the entire voting public, but targets historically disenfranchised communities, including: African-American, Asian Pacific Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and other racially and ethnically diverse communities: seniors; young people; low-income voters; and individuals with disabilities.
Election Protection's nationwide, nonpartisan voter protection program was the largest in the coalition's history in 2008. Over 10,000 legal volunteers fanned out across the nation to assist voters, poll workers and election officials in 25 states; the 1-866-OUR-VOTE hotline received over 240,000 calls from voters seeking assistance; and the www.866OurVote.org website was visited by more than 283,000 people in the six weeks leading up to Election Day.
For more information about Election Protection and the 1-866-OUR-VOTE Hotline, please visit: www.866OurVote.org