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‘This is not Afghanistan’: Beep demands voting-system reforms after problem-riddled Election Day

Vote for reform: Borough President Adams, flanked by local pols and leaders, demanded the city’s Board of Elections overhaul its system the day after droves of Brooklynites reported all sorts of problems at polling sites during Tuesday’s election.
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City and state officials must overhaul the city’s archaic voting system, which on Tuesday failed hundreds of Brooklynites trying to cast ballots in the decisive midterm election, according to Borough President Adams, who on Wednesday unveiled a five-point plan to bring the outdated system into the 21st century.

“I think it’s imperative to really examine what we witnessed yesterday, this is not Afghanistan, this is America,” the beep said outside the Brooklyn Board of Elections. “And at the cornerstone of this country’s beliefs is a right to vote, and the right to be part of the process that chooses who will represent us.”

The day before, droves of voters took to social media to vent about how issues such as long lines and malfunctioning machines made it difficult to do their civic duty, and some said the challenges forced them to leave their polling places before they got the chance to make a choice.

Adams put forth five proposals to combat the reported difficulties, including a call for immediate investigatory hearings into what caused the widespread difficulties; expanding the poll-worker program and increasing the training for it; instituting early voting polices like those in more than 30 other states across the country; using technology to modernize the way New Yorkers vote; and bringing together all involved in the voting process to work on reforming the entire system.

But among them, the most crucial is allowing voters to voters to cast their ballots ahead of election day, in order to alleviate long lines, and get ahead of any day-of issues that arise, he said.

“When you have early voting in place it allows an opportunity to iron out any kinks, gives more than one day,” said Adams, who spoke standing beside local leaders who included Park Slope Assemblyman Robert Carroll, Sheepshead Bay Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein, and Bushwick Councilman Rafael Espinal.

Problems including paper jams, broken machines, and chaotic queues that formed as a result, plagued a whopping 49 polling sites across Kings County, according to the beep.

The man in charge of the city’s Board of Elections, Michael Ryan, pointed a finger at a perennial nuisance that reared its head in Brooklyn on Tuesday — bad weather — but the beep said blaming Mother Nature is not a solution.

“This is inexcusable,” said Adams. “It rains in New York.”

At a Fort Greene polling site, for instance, all five machines stopped working at the same time, sending 200 hundred people out the door wondering if their vote would even count, according to the head of the city’s Department of Small Business Services, who was trying to cast his ballot at the neighborhood’s Ingersoll Community Center.

“Now all scanners are down. This is a disaster. In 2018 and in NYC I’m embarrassed,” Gregg Bishop said on Twitter.

Adams didn’t go as far as Council Speaker Corey Johnson (D–Manhattan) did on Tuesday, when he called on Ryan to resign due to the election-day fracas, but the beep noted that problems start at the top, and said getting to the root of the failure is more important than hastily instituting changes.

“The call for a resignation is the easiest thing to do, we had different heads of the BOE and got the same result,” Adams said. “Let’s do an analysis of what the problem is and let the outcome of that analysis determine what levels should be gone and what levels should stay.”

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Posted 12:00 am, November 8, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Ms.Me from Bay Ridge says:
Why insult Afghanistan? Don't they dye your finger there so you can't vote multiple times? They might say their system is better.
Nov. 8, 9:12 am
sid from boerum hill says:
when he is right he is right...almost half the states allow early voting and much easier registration...and there is NO significant voter fraud. More voter suppression than any fraud.
Nov. 8, 10:39 am
Hillary from Prison says:
Why would the party of crime want living people to vote when they get 110% of dead people voting for them? Of course they are going to make attempting to vote them out as miserable an experience as possible.
Nov. 8, 11:50 am
Mathemetician from Bay Ridge says:
They were having trouble getting enough poll workers so, at the annual class they give, last year they changed the test from open book to open book with the test paper giving the page number on which the answer can be found. No lie, and a sad indictment of the NYC schools.
Nov. 8, 12:14 pm
Hillary from Prison says:
It’s crazy how I make up claims of voter fraud with no facts to back up my garbage trolling. I’m just like the president!
Nov. 8, 1:20 pm
Joey from Clinton Hills says:
Guards with AK-47s for each building, just like Afghanistan.
Nov. 8, 2:43 pm
Yosaf from Flatbush says:
So embarrassing this guy is and even more that reporters take him seriously, ny and usa in decline. Does he know the technology used in Afghanistan even after the USA bombings invasion etc? What an ignorant charlatan he is
Nov. 8, 8:56 pm
Yosaf from Flatbush says:
So embarrassing me english skillz and internets postings. 0h whie eye laff?
Nov. 9, 8:04 pm

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