Bloomberg: Poll Problems ‘A Royal Screw-Up’

Disaster On Primary Day As Machine Glitches Cause Chaos

NEW YORK (CBS 2 / WCBS 880/1010 WINS) — There were major problems at the polls on primary day in New York and it’s all connected to the debut of the state’s new electronic voting machines.

New York City spent $160 million on new voting machines, but the roll out was embarrassing.

Some polling places opened as much as four hours late and thousands may have been unable to cast ballots, reports CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer.

“That is a royal screw-up and it’s completely unacceptable,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.

Sources told CBS 2 that the list of problems was astonishing, including: broken machines, missing machines, missing emergency ballots and workers totally unprepared to assist voters and resolve technical glitches.

And probably the most unforgivable was the fact that polling places opened hours late.

One polling place at 38 Water St., in the Dumbo section of Brooklyn was still closed at 8:30 Tuesday morning, two and a half hours after its scheduled 6 a.m. start.

Another polling place at 350 Fifth Ave. in Park Slope still wasn’t open at 8:15 a.m.

And most ironic, one at 339 8th St. — Camp Friendship — didn’t open until after 9, because the keys to open the voting machines didn’t arrive.

That’s where Public Advocate Bill de Blasio votes and he was furious.

“Literally we have right now thousands from what I’ve heard already, could be 10,000 New Yorkers turned away, didn’t get to vote, may not get to vote, and that’s outrageous,” de Blasio said.

“Unfortunately, this could decide the election in some cases, literally, which machines were working and which weren’t, could decide this election.”

Mayor Bloomberg blamed the board of elections.

“The board is a remnant of the days when Tammany Hall ran New York. New Yorkers deserve better than this and the time has come to fix it,” Bloomberg said.

As public advocate, de Blasio said he’s going to do the oversight to try to fix the problems, but the elections in November are only seven weeks away.

“I got there at 6:20 a.m. They hadn’t plugged the machines in yet. They weren’t sure how to sign people in. They signed me in, they first gave me a Republican ballot instead of a Democratic ballot,” Judi Wind, a Lower East Side resident, told CBS 2’s Kathryn Brown reports.

State Board of Elections spokesman John Conklin said the reports of problems were at a typical level, no different from what was experienced with the lever machines.

“As far as we’re concerned, it’s the normal amount for an election day,” Conklin said.

In Pelham, three of five new electronic voting machines were out of service when polls opened.

Voters in several districts were turned away or given emergency ballots because of a glitch in optical scan machines making their debut Tuesday. The machines were out of service about two and a half hours.

Strips of paper failed to pop up from the machines. Poll worker Frank Zumpano said it turned out the paper had some glue on the back.

Paper ballots are fed into the machines to be read and tabulated. The system is New York’s attempt to comply with the federal Help America Vote Act.

1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera reports
WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond: New Voting, New Problems
1010 WINS’ John Montone speaks with Rangel at P.S. 175
WCBS 880’s Paul Murnane with voters in Bronxville and Pelham
WCBS 880’s Mike Xirinachs with Rick Lazio as he votes in Bay Shore
WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond with a look as some races and issues
WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb on Bloomberg backing Rangel

Governor David Paterson showed up early at P.S. 175 to vote for the person he thinks should take his job.

“The public service of Andrew Cuomo over a number of years in November, I think he will be an overwhelming winner,” Paterson said.

Cuomo will square off against the winner of a hotly-contested Republican primary. “I think it’s going to be very close so that’s why I made it my business to come out,” said Claudette Abdul-Aleem. I think it’s going to be very close in all categories.”

Former representative Rick Lazio has sealed the GOP’s endorsement.

“I’ve been a Contract With America congressman, I was on the budget committee that wrote the first balanced budget, I’ve always voted to lower taxes,” he said.

However, he’s fighting a late race surge from Carl Paladino, a Buffalo businessman who’s been embraced by the Tea Party. “I found out that they’re all just like us,” he said.

Cuomo’s exiting his post as attorney general left a hotly-contested void.

In the race for Attorney General, Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice is the statistical frontrunner and is fighting a field of five challengers.

Rice’s biggest opposition was State Senator Eric Schneiderman. She’s worked to cast him as an Albany insider, but he has labor unions in his corner, and has been gaining momentum.

“A lot of conflict and I think its going to be a pretty close race,” one Harlem resident said.

And then there are the scandals. State Senator Pedro Espada is facing a slew of corruption charges and is in a high-stakes standoff with Gustavo Rivera, who has been endorsed by Democratic heavy-hitters, including The Rev. Al Sharpton, and several local newspapers.

“We will sing a song of victory and push our enemies out,” Espada said.

Congressman Charlie Rangel’s 40-year career has recently been clouded with ethics charges.  He was trying to fend off a field of five challengers, who said he was too tarnished by ethics concerns to keep his job.

He said Tuesday was the public hearing he felt he’s deserved all along. “It certainly is the hearing that the writers of the Constitution decided.”

At P.S. 175 in Harlem, crowds cheered wildly for Rangel as he voted Tuesday morning; one man even said he would vote for the embattled congressman twice. “It was great to see that the district has felt it necessary to reaffirm their faith in me,” Rangel said.

One of the challengers he was facing is the son of the man he replaced four decades ago.

Analysts were predicting a fairly low voter turnout of about 10-percent.

  • patsw

    Bloomberg is a lifelong Democrat. When elected he surrounded himself with Democrat advisers and appointed Democrats to run city agencies. He has financially supported Democratic candidates and campained for Democrats. Bloomberg was never Republican except as a convenience to prevent the disaster of Mark Green from becoming Mayor in 2001.

    Bloomberg’s forced surprise at the voting machine debacle is a power play to get mayoral control over the independent Board of Elections.

    • Auntie Sammie

      Even if we didn’t know he switches political parties on a whim, his support of the mosque at ground zero and his support of legalizing illegals makes it obvious whose bed he sleeps in. I’m sure there’s more, but I simply can’t stand looking at the little man.

  • Off Duty

    The process was so simple, I was in and out in less that two minutes. Yes, I’m a Republican.

  • Aunt Bee

    It’s time to admit that government doesn’t work and is really men and women providing services at the barrel of a gun.

  • Brandon Magoon

    If voter turnout is only 10% then isn’t it time we admit the system doesn’t work and we need to switch to a multi party system so people can really be represented? The so called 2 party system doesn’t work. Stop ignoring the elephant in the room.

  • Alana

    With paper and pen, fraud is much less possible and productive. With computerized machines, handled, stored, and operated by government operatives, I don’t know how anyone other than the party in power can have confidence in their “accuracy.”

    America is toast – the question is how light, dark, or burnt?

  • Vince

    Democrats CONTROL New York and STILL the demented liberals blame republicans for faulty machines. Keep talking libs. We need all the proof we can get to show your insanity before the November elections.

  • Don Smith

    New York New York, what a wonderful town… You can have it

  • TinaS.

    Ahhh, New York…the newest banana republic in the hemisphere.

  • Jim Aronson

    What a mess! I go to vote this morning, and first, no one there speaks English. They look at my license, and ask (barely) “Is this your last name?” Then they look me up in the book, point to someone with the same last name, (but a different first one) and said “we found you!” After I corrected them, I finally get to vote but the machine doesn’t take it…Apparently, the old man at the table ripped off too much of the ballot when he gave it to me, making it invalid. So I had to revote! WHO trained these people–and will I have to push ‘1’ for English when I vote again in November?

    • jdaniel

      No, you will have to push “2”. Spanish is the default… “1”.

  • rrm

    You see, when the election is fair, the chance of a fire starting goes way up. What you should really be upset about is all that corruption in Afghanistan.

  • RicardoCabeza

    By the way NYC sheeples your Nanny mayor is MAD! That means no salt for you GO TO YOUR ROOM! You nanny state loving a$$ hats.

  • Contrarian

    Well, considering the problems encountered elsewhere with electronic voting machines, it leads to but one conclusion;
    The Powers that Be want the vote to go badly, demand a bad count, and look forward to all the fraud that can be perpetrated under the “new” system.
    Can anyone say; Tammany Hall?

  • J4140

    It’s amazing that those broken machines that voted for republicans are the same ones that voted democrats in 2006-8. Hmmmm. Stupidity is not a conspiracy

  • RicardoCabeza

    What so the bought and paid for homeless voters of the DNC and the dead voters had to wait a few hours? Boo freaking hoo. The RICO violations that is the NYC voting commission is nearly as corrupt as the Chicago machines.

  • Taqiyy.

    JAKE @ 6:15 great comment.

    And now ACORN, the democrat-fraud Hydra, has had it head removed and a hundred mini-ACORNs with the same faces have sprung up. They took a cue from the Religion of Peace and split into supposedly “separate” little groups. Evil minds think alike.

  • Chukkal

    Maybe some of the stimulus money should have been spent on non-union voting machines!

  • BRB San Diego

    Fire that incompetent John Conklin wacker and his entire staff – make them give their salaries back. Nay – let’s give him a bonus and put him in charge of the new health care system.

  • Badjohnny

    How did we become so stupid?

  • Taqiyy.

    “Why not use ballots like those used in Arizona and used to be used in Maine — a pen is used to fill in the arrow for the candidate. They can be read electronically or someone can sit down and count them. There are costs involved, printing the ballots and storing them for archival purposes. BUT THEY ALWAYS WORK!!!”

    See , that’s exactly why. Those in charge want maximum fraud potential in elections. That’s why Dems are ALWAYS against things which make elections more secure and with more integrity. ID’s to vote? Nope. That would lessen fraud. Can’t have that. In fact that’s Raaaacist! “Count every vote” to a Dem means “…and including the fraudulant ones, and including the ones made not in accordance with the LAW, including the ones found in stacks in the back seats of Democrat pollworkers’ cars the day AFTER the election…but not the overseas military ones, or the absentee ones we find hidden under file cabinet drawers and in dumpsters three months after the election.”

    You folks who think Repubs plus Diebold are the ones who are insane. In the membrane. These “malfunctions” are not happening in Repub districts like they are in Dem districts. They either happen in Dem districts or very close-to-call districts, because BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY is a way of life for these leech-like lazy thieves.

  • Jim

    Bet you they are totally riged up…… repub and vote is cast demo.

  • newjerseybt

    Well at least there will be no chads on the floor . ;’)

  • bold_one

    Maybe our politicians should use the same bureaucracy that developed the voting machine to build a tax collecting machine for the IRS. If I could use that machine to pay taxes, two good things would result: (1) IRS wouldn’t collect a cent, and (2) Government idiots wouldn’t get a paycheck. Win WIN!!!!

  • Jake

    The kings of vote fraud The matter of whether or not Mr. Obama is a valid and legal candidate for the office of president is by design a red herring to draw people’s attention from the monstrously massive voter fraud perpetrated by the Democratic Party and its Brown Shirt organization, ACORN.

    There can be no doubt that Democrats have, and always have been, leaders in voter fraud; from the ballot-box stuffing of Tammany Hall, to the corrupt political machines of St. Louis and Chicago, to the hanging chad attempt to steal the presidency for Mr. Gore, along with the vote recount in Washington state until the Democrat “won” the governor’s office. Democrats have always been the vanguard for new vote-counting machines, not because machines are quicker or more accurate than a group of people physically counting the vote, but because machines are easier to manipulate, change and corrupt than people. After all, machines only count what they are designed or programmed to count.

    What is easier? Stuffing ballot boxes with millions of pieces of paper, or flipping a switch or writing a program that gives the result desired?

  • Mort Adella

    Get those machines fixed so the leftists can vote to keep the taxes high
    on those upper west side rich leftists. I love it when their tax dollars go to
    Washington and our sent to my state. Schadenfreude

  • spotlight

    The voting materials are a piece of paper that the voter marks with a pen and then feeds it into a scanner which collects the paper. It is not any more complex than that.

    Anyone that cannot carry this out must not have received good instructions from the local community organizer who handed out the cigarettes and $20’s to get out the vote.

  • The Greatest American Hero

    John Superman, you are spot on, as always.

  • Pablito

    This is one poorly written article.

  • amplitude jones

    electronic machines perpetrate fraud to the benefit of traitor pig democrats

  • Barry Bin Inhalin

    First, LOL.

    Second, Bloomberg is a PUTZ.

    Third, it must be Bush’s fault!!

  • David

    Well its a democrat state, when have demo’s been able to do anything other than expand govt and raise taxes

  • JohnF

    Why not use ballots like those used in Arizona and used to be used in Maine — a pen is used to fill in the arrow for the candidate. They can be read electronically or someone can sit down and count them. There are costs involved, printing the ballots and storing them for archival purposes. BUT THEY ALWAYS WORK!!!

  • Bullseye98

    “At P.S. 175 in Harlem, crowds cheered wildly for Rangel as he voted Tuesday morning; one man even said he would vote for the embattled congressman twice.”

    Annnnd I think we begin to see the problem…

    • eric

      yes yes yes! rangal and his crook following need to be removed.

      • jdaniel

        Well if we only had 10 votes to count, that might work.

  • Sanjay Gupta

    Wow, it’s amazing how stupid you americans have gotten! Way to go! Your country is going backwards. Good riddance.

    • John Superman

      Well, it’s an over-politically correct country. They’ve ridiculously tried to offend no one for a decade. The desire to accomodate the dumbest element has held them back immensely.

      • Sanjay Gupta

        Very true…

  • 14401

    Chicago —–New York—-Same difference.

    Vote early, vote often is what it sounds like.

  • Nick Reynolds

    Viva corrupcion!!! Viva alcalde!!! Viva el Diablo!!!! Viva Bloombergo!!!

  • BlaqProgress

    Had the same problems here in Syracuse NY this afternoon when I went to vote. The poll workers had NO CLUE about what they were doing.

  • Mich Agan

    Just wait til gov’t gets your health care!if this was run by a business it would have been tested and proofed and people would have shown up on time and machines plugged in (FPS!) or they would have feared for their jobs. But not in Demo gov’t system, no one loses their job as long as they keep the machine in power.

  • Patrick D

    It used to be so simple that even a Caveman could do it. That is until a lesser species known as Democrats arrived on the scene.

  • Sacred Day Roiled « Blog

    […] people’s holy communion with their rulers goes awry, as $160 million in new voting machines turn out to work as well as the rest of the NYC government. […]

  • Scott

    Charlie is behind this. Impeach that old racist today.

  • Jonathan

    Sounds like cheating to me. But who cares? We’re a third world country now. Might as well have third world corruption.

  • shredder

    Did she say …”in the DUMBO section of Brooklyn”? It’s just a section?

  • edshaw

    His Honor ought to be doing his job, not out stumping for his wealthy Arab cronies.

  • SM

    You guys are hilarious, we use pieces of Paper and pens here in Canada. It leaves an audit-able capacity to recount without fear of “skulduggery” that is almost impossible to resist with electronics. Seriously, what a waste of money. Voting with one armed bandits!

    • jeff m

      The machines print a paper ballot that you can look at, then you confirm. Much better than the old box-o-ballots that some criminal poll worker could sift through.

      • jrjr

        If the voting machine can print a ballot that is good. After that, it is left to imagination and vote stealing. What assurance does anyone have that the information on that printed ballot is the same that gets summed up in the end that decides who won the election. After the printing who knows?

    • Auntie Sammie

      Well, there were some progressive idiots in South Florida who couldn’t seem to grasp the simple “push in the dot next to the name of the person you want to be president” concept. Haha, progressives actually claimed the old people were too WEAK to press through the perforated cardboard. And we have to listen to this idiotic progressive drivel every day.

      Plus, the machines change every two years, a perfect waste of our taxpayer’s money. The progressives NEVER stop trying to find a more efficient way to cheat. Dead people are so passe, you know.

      Plus, in chairman maobama’s regime, if we voted your way, it wouldn’t surprise me if the republican voters’ ballots would be fingerprinted and placed into a database for “gulag gathering” but only, ahem, in the case of an EMERGENCY of course.

      • Auntie Sammie

        Plus, you’re assuming the majority of maobama voters could read and write. This way, all the progressives have to teach them is how to identify a “D”.

  • Ed Thesled

    This is just the Dems practicing for the general election.

  • Didn't have my vote counted..

    Now you know how the military feels when left leaning legislators, governors, and judges refuse to ensure we get our abscentee ballots.

  • Mayor Nagen

    Stupid is as stupid does. Keep electing Democrats to run your state they’re the best just ask Detroit and New Orleans!

  • darrell7887

    Why can’t this country design a voting machine that even an ignorant liberal can operate?

    • shredder

      You say that like there are other kinds of liberals.

      • darrell7887

        OK, there are really ignorant liberals…..but it’s hard to tell them apart.

    • Sharon

      That may be the funniest comment I have seen! So true!

    • tw

      the machine were built by republicans to be as effective as they are…..

      • jeff m

        I wonder if these poll workers who fail at setting up the machine know how to send email, even my grandma can send email, could it really be so hard?

    • tw

      the machines were built by republicans to be as effective as they are…..

      • Dan Te

        Did you even bother to vote “tw”? If you had, you would realize that you’re actually praising the Republicans.

        What an ignoramus. Oh wait, you’re democrat… same difference.

    • Auntie Sammie

      O.K. school children. Since your public school teachers don’t teach you vocabulary, “ignorant liberal” is a perfect example of a REDUNDANCY. Next, we’ll learn real history – not the revisionist lies the “ignorant liberal” school teacher and their union hacks like you to be indoctrinated with.

  • Moses

    Wow, if Democrats weren’t to freakin stupid to use a pencil and a pen in 2000 we wouldn’t have any of these problems now would we! LOL

    • Rowdy Boots

      You call names because you hate everyone. You voted an unqualified man into the most complex job in the world because you are a racist and ignorant.

      Well, now you see how well your democratic NY “government” operates and you blame Bush. You and Obama are just alike…silly, foolish and without wisdom.

      Ha ha ha

  • David Abbey

    “Governor Paterson showed up early at P.S. 175 to vote for the person he thinks should take his job. “The public service of Andrew Cuomo over a number of years in November, I think he will be an overwhelming winner.”

    This writing doesn’t make sense. Paterson wouldn’t have an opportunity today to vote for Andrew Cuomo because Mr. Cuomo isn’t being challenged in the Democratic Primary for NY Governor.

    That is poor proofreading.

    • jarrad

      Bloomberg isn’t now, and never really was, a Republican.

    • Ginger Baker

      Don’t look now but your tin foil hat slipped off.

    • kfor777

      Keep the polls close until the working class go to work. They don’t want people with real jobs to vote.

    • Jim

      Your analogy is pretty warped since the Dems won the majority in 2006, but nice try. And tell us in your version of reality just why would Bloomberg rig the election for Republicans? he hardly is one

    • jeff m

      who is “they” the machines? Heh, I trust a certified machine a lot more than the poll station volunteers, a lot more. You know diebold makes atm machines right? They have a pretty good track record.

    • Paolo

      This is typical Democratic Election Fraud

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