New York City Board of Elections

Voting-Related Problems - September 2010 Primary Election

Numerous problems were reported at many New York City polling places during the September 2010 primary election. We examined voting operations at polling sites to identify the type and extent of the problems voters encountered and determined that many of the complaints were justified. We concluded that there were significant problems such as late poll site openings, privacy concerns, machine malfunctions, problems with the ballot and insufficient poll worker training. We found a variety of reasons for these problems. For example, many polling sites are in New York City public schools, which were closed for a religious holiday on the Thursday and Friday prior to the primary election, the days the voting machines were scheduled to be delivered. While custodians should have been available at the schools, some were not, resulting in the machines having to be taken back to a warehouse and causing havoc with the delivery schedule. This contributed to untimely poll site openings. We also determined that a lack of sufficient training for poll workers contributed to some of the election day problems. We made several recommendations designed to prevent these problems from occurring in future elections.

For a complete copy of Report 2010-N-6 click here.