Voters at a Brooklyn polling site were delayed because they were issued the wrong ballots

Voters at a Brooklyn polling site were delayed because they were issued the wrong ballots
Source: AP
Source: AP

On Tuesday, voters in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, faced delays at the neighborhood's P.S. 91 polling site due to issues with ballots. 

Twitter user @TheQnBee wrote around 6:30 a.m. local time that P.S. 91 had the "wrong voter registrations or ballots." She went on to quote someone at the polling station as saying, "We do not have the correct ballots."  

The Crown Heights resident said she was willing to wait outside in the cold until poll volunteers fixed the problem, but that many were discouraged by the delays. 

"Line mad short now," she wrote around 15 minutes later. "Most left after the announcement."

A woman identified only as Merlin told News 12 Brooklyn that she had been the second person in line to vote when she arrived at P.S. 91 at 4 a.m. Tuesday morning. When the doors to the polling site opened around 6 a.m., a volunteer immediately said, "We have a problem." 

"The ballots that were supposed to be sent to this site were sent to another site," she told the local news station. 

The woman also reported to News 12 that some voters were told their polling site had been changed from P.S. 91 to the nearby Susan S. McKinney Secondary School of the Arts. 

According to Robin Marion, a temporary clerk at Brooklyn's Board of Elections, it's not unusual for voters to be told their polling site has changed. In a phone interview Tuesday morning, she said voters may move without notifying their local BOE and find on Election Day they've gone to the wrong location.

"Usually if a poll site has changed, voters are notified by mail," Marion said. "But often voters will throw out those notifications, thinking it's junk mail." 

What's more, she said, since many voters will only vote in presidential elections, they might go to the same location where they voted in the last presidential election, which could no longer be their designated polling site.

"It would be helpful if voters used their right every year and not just wait for the presidential election," Marion said. 

Whatever the discrepancy, Crown Heights voters were left feeling disappointed by the delays and may have to return in the evening.

Merlin told News 12, "It's frustrating because I got up early ... to be part of this history in the making and here we are told our ballots aren't here and we have to come back."

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Marie Solis

Marie is a staff writer with a focus in feminist issues. Her writing has appeared in Gothamist and the Awl. You can reach her at marie@mic.com.

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