EDITOR’S REQUEST FOR YOUR PRIMARY EXPERIENCE IN WHITE PLAINS; WPCNR would like your comments on how polling place voting went in White Plains. Just write firstname.lastname@example.org. Letters must be signed, however you may request anonymity and it will be respected. If you voted by absentee ballot, tell us about that experience.
WPCNR THE LETTER TICKER. From Paul Feiner, Greenburgh Town Supervisor. June 24, 2020:
NUMEROUS COMPLAINTS ABOUT 2020 PRIMARY ELECTIONS
Received many complaints about the primary election. Please be advised that the town of Greenburgh does not oversee primary elections. The elections are overseen by the Westchester County Board of Elections.
The primary election on June 23rd had numerous problems. Some residents did not receive absentee ballots that they had requested. There were long lines at the polling places on June 23rd.
See the e mail from a resident below who was still waiting to vote at 11:01 PM (two hours after the polls were supposed to close). Machines malfunctioned.
Some residents complained of the lines and did not vote. Voters waited two hours in some instances to vote.
One of the 5 polling places had no air conditioning. At some locations inadequate crowd control.
I had joined others in objecting to the significant reduction in the number of polling places in Greenburgh. We have 81 districts. In the past there were over thirty polling places. On Tuesday there were 5. No wonder why there were long lines.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: White Plains has 42 election districts usually covered by numerous polling places, yesterday there were 3.)
I continue to worry whether all absentee ballots will be counted. The postal service is unreliable. I had suggested that the Board of Elections figure out a way to confirm the receipt of the ballot to the voter. This would enable voters who think they voted to vote in person if the ballot is not received.
If voters won’t have confidence in the integrity and fairness of our election system our democracy will be in trouble. I urge the Board of Elections and NYS to conduct a comprehensive review of the 2020 primary election and to make sure that the problems that existed never happen again.
We must never reduce the number of polling locations in the town.
One shouldn’t have to wait an unreasonable time to vote.
Voters should receive confirmation when the ballot is received from the Board of Elections. This would provide voters with the opportunity to vote in person if the ballot was not received.
The Board of Elections should prepare a report -what went wrong and what will be done to make sure that the problems we just experienced won’t happen in November.
These are some of the complaints I received.
COMPLAINT NUMBER ONE –LONG LINES -WAITED TILL AFTER 11 PM TO VOTE
Sent: Tuesday, June 23, 2020 11:01 PM
To: Paul Feiner
Subject: Waiting still to vote in Greenburgh
COMPLAINT NUMBER TWO- MALFUNCTIONS WITH MACHINES, LONG LINES, LACK OF AIR CONDITIONING
I am incredibly disappointed and alarmed at the conditions at the Woodlands HS gym when I went to vote this evening at 6P. Not only was the wait 90 minutes, but the conditions were unsafe.
The gym had inadequate power so that no fans or air conditioning was possible; there was no ventilation. There were elderly and infirm individuals with canes there who were made to stand for the entire time and not afforded any accommodation.
God was clearly watching that no one collapsed in extremis. I left there after 90 minutes tachycardic, dehydrated and with a temperature of 100.
1. One of the registration machines that printed the ballots kept shutting down b/o inadequate power.
During the period of time I was there at least 30 votes were lost from people/families who couldn’t tolerate the conditions and left. We complain about voter suppression occurring in less progressive areas of the country only to have the same thing occur here.
This is unconscionable and not what I expect from NY state or Westchester County. I hope we can expect better in November.
A 32-year Hartsdale resident and most unhappy constituent,
COMPLAINT NUMBER 3 INADEQUATE HELP TO CONTROL CROWDS–CROWD CONTROL PROBLEMS
Very disappointed by the long lines, slowly moving registration , disorganized voting at Woodlands.
Not enough help .. there should be more help here to crowd control considering the limited number of voting centers due to Covid.
This will hurt our democratic voting turnout Also very hot in this gym People are not happy !!
COMPLAINT NUMBER 4 – DID NOT RECEIVE ABSENTEE BALLOT
I am writing again to inform you that Primary Day is here and I still have not received my absentee ballot. I have been in touch with the Board of Elections on several occasions and was told the ballot is coming from Rochester and I will get it on time.
Obviously, this is not true.
As an 82 year old senior citizen who has always voted, I am quite disturbed by this situation.
I thought this matter should be brought to your attention.