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Problems Erupt At A Handful Of New York City Polling Places

Voters at Vanderveer Methodist Church in East Flatbush (credit: Jumaane Williams/Twitter)

Voters at Vanderveer Methodist Church in East Flatbush (credit: Jumaane Williams/Twitter)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Problems erupted at a handful of New York City polling places Tuesday, including a Lower Manhattan site that ran out of ballots, and reports of crowding at some sites in Brooklyn that attracted the attention of a city lawmaker.

As 1010 WINS’ Gene Michaels reported, Sidney, 88, was evacuated from Long Beach, Long Island, due to Superstorm Sandy and was staying with his daughter, Beth, in TriBeCa.

1010 WINS’ Gene Michaels reports

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday signed an order allowing New York state residents to vote anywhere in the state, since power and storm damage might have kept them from making it to their own polling places.

But that didn’t help Sidney. His daughter brought him to her polling place, P.S. 234 Independence School at 292 Greenwich St., only to find no ballots at all.

So after waiting on line for an hour, Sidney was turned away.

“I voted. He couldn’t vote,” Beth said.

Nobody could give Sidney a polling place a straight answer as to what he was supposed to do.

It turned out that affidavits and provisional ballots ran out at P.S. 234 sometime Tuesday afternoon.

At one point, people were told to relocate to 111 Centre St., but 1010 WINS confirmed that they ran out of provisional ballots around 8 p.m., an hour before polls closed.

A New York City lawmaker is calling on the Board of Elections to clear up the confusion and long lines at some polling sites in Brooklyn.

Earlier in Brooklyn, Councilman Jumaane Williams called the voting process a “disaster” on his Twitter page, where documented problems he’s encountered at several polling sites.

Williams claimed that at least three polls didn’t open on time and machines weren’t working elsewhere.

“Was just told PS 198 shut the doors to restore order,” Williams tweeted.

“I’m at the polling site at St. Therese Church. I’ve confirmed potential voters were turned away earlier. The @BOENYC should investigate,” another post read.

Many people said they waited at least three hours to vote at the polling site at Vandereer Park United Methodist Church in East Flatbush.

Several voters said the site was extremely disorganized and eventually left without voting after growing frustrated and discouraged.

“There’s some people who have left, there’s some people who are saying they are going to stick it out,” Williams said. “One woman was afraid that she was going to lose her job because she wants to vote. She’s very scared. She left her job just to come vote and she can’t get through.”

Williams was calling on the Board of Elections to add more workers to several polling sites to restore order and speed up the voting process.

“We need help now. Somebody needs to come here now. This is only going to get worse,” Williams said. “The Board of Elections needs to get over here and get some more people here and open up some more rooms so that some of these people can start voting so they can leave.”

New York City Elections Commissioner J.C. Polanco was asking voters to be patient.

Did you run into any problems today? Let us know below…