New York City polling sites report some problems

September 10, 2013 6:14:52 PM PDT
Officials at the Board of Elections say they have tried to minimize the number of problems, but at a polling center in downtown Brooklyn and at others there have been some nagging issues. CLICK HERE FOR RESULTS FROM THE NEW YORK CITY PRIMARY

In a number of cases, out came the cardboard ballot boxes. Voters were then forced to vote marking paper ballots and sealing their choices to be counted later.

"I don't go through the machine," said voter Fatima Raymonde, who added it didn't take long to use the paper ballot.

Within the 20,000 working parts of the 1960's vintage lever style voting machine lies some of the troubles. They were hauled out and are being used again in this primary. Elections officials say the new scanner voting machines used previously can't be turned around quick enough for a runoff election.

"All we have to do is take out the paper strips and put in the new paper strips with the names of whomever and we're ready to go," Board of Elections Executive Director Michael Ryan said.

Unless they break down as one did when Republican mayoral candidate Joe Lhota came to vote. He was handed a paper ballot, marking it with little privacy, and then shoved it in the cardboard ballot box.

"I'll make sure they are properly counted and we go through. It may be a long night," he said.

A more fundamental snafu made for a long morning on Manhattan's East Side at Central Synagogue.

"There are no machines here which is an absolute travesty," voter Margaret canella said.

Machines finally did arrive 30 minutes later and two broke down.

"This is not going to stop us from voting, but it's a major pain in the neck. Shame on them for not being efficient," Canella said.

Ryan suspects early placement was not feasible at the synagogue because of the Jewish holidays.

"For some reason, which i will get to the bottom of, six of the 5,132 that we delivered throughout the city didn't make to the poll site on time," he said. Eyewitness News will have special coverage of the New York City primary results beginning at 10:00 p.m. on Channel 7, 7online and our news apps.