Voting Today – Is That Type Too Small?

BHB tipster/voter “Chris” send us this photo of the new paper ballots now being used in New York and comments:

Voted at 7:30 this morning with very light turnout (voter #7).  Staff seems to know the new process, but one of the ballot scanners was malfunctioning.  New ballot printed in VERY small type; wonder if Senior Citizens will have problems, even with the magnifying sheet.

Which gives us a great excuse to shoehorn in this totally unrelated video:

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  • T.K. Small

    I just returned from voting and in short, my experience was dreadful. The poll workers barely spoke English and insisted on speaking to my personal assistant, instead of directly to me. Next the poll worker informed me that the electronic ballot marking device, which I need to use to vote independently, is not working.

    I accept and understand that equipment malfunctions occasionally. However, it is unacceptable that poll workers still do not appreciate how to speak to voters that happen to be disabled.

  • M. Damsky

    At my polling place, all the privacy screens for about a dozen districts were facing the wrong direction, so in fact you had no privacy. The pollworkers did not speak english and did not know how to fill out the counter tickets. I was number nine at about noon. Then there is only one scanner for all the districts. This didn’t make much of a problem during a primary with low turnout, but I imagine this will create long lines at major elections. My ballot was taken from me by a pollworker and scanned, I was not allowed to do it myself. It was obvious the two pollworkers on either side of the machine looked at my ballot. I came home and attempted to call the Board of Elections. After listening to a lengthy automated message I finally got someone on the phone. She told me she was transferring me to someone who would see to it someone was sent over to the school to correct them. I was transferred to a invalid mailbox number. I called back and got the same exact routine. I then called the league of women voters, who merely took my email address so they could send me a survey. I then called my congressmen’s office and eventually heard back from them that the Board of Elections was sending someone over to the school. I have been voting for almost thirty years and never ever had a problem with the old voting booths. Why change what wasn’t broken?

  • william

    I voted at the rear of the church on Montague Street this afternoon. Moderate activity, a lot of senior citizens there. (Who bused them in?)

    Yes, the type on the ballots needs to be bigger. The type seems to be maybe a 10 or 11 point size, which is too small for a majority of people to clearly read.

    Lighting should be better in the area where you mark your choices onto the paper ballot, which you then carry to a person working a scanner. Once scanned, the machine keeps your paper ballot. Salute.

  • Homer Fink

    The polling at 250 CPW was on the brink of being a sh*tshow. If there were more people there besides me and AEB we would have been screwed.

    Steve Williamson was campaigning there (more that 150 feet away from the door.. ? ) and Jesse Strauss’ mom was across the street.

    Oh and how many robocalls did YOU get today?

  • ABC

    you all need to get VoIP and skip the robo calls and telemarketers, etc.

    type was small, but okay for me. as usual, poll workers were awful but not as bad as a few years back when the woman spent 5 minutes looking up my name — having issues with vision and/or alphabetical order — and said to me “This is taking a lot of time. I sure hope you’re not voting for HER” (meaning Hillary).

  • lcd

    I feel compelled to report an actual positive voting experience! about 8:00 a.m. at CPW. Helpful and knowledgeable workers, no one peeking at my “privacy folder” – scanned without a problem. Though I have to admit, there were only about 3 voters on the premises. The outside campaigners seemed awfully close though. I would think people who make the effort to vote in these low turnout affairs would’ve made their minds up before encountering these folks.

  • AEB

    Putting aside the newness and thus unfamiliarity with the voting process, it struck me that, as Homer suggests above, a real voter turn-out could easily cause major waiting.

    Part of the problem lies with the ballot marking, a lengthy process that involves manually filling-in many tiny boxes. The scanning machines take their own sweet time to read and register one’s choices.

    So, where once one flipped levers,and cast one’s vote simply by exiting one’s voting booth, now their are multiple, time-consuming stations to navigate. Not exactly progress.

  • Ben T.

    1. Print too small.

    2. Low lighting in voting booths.

    3. Scanner malfunctioned and poll worker had to take ballot and try multiple times to put it in machine face up … totally taking away any privacy.

  • lcd

    Wasn’t one of the objectives of the new system to have a paper trail in case of recounts? Why not mail-in ballots like several states have had for a while? (Oregon does this I think). Or my personal favorite, vote from home from your computer.

  • bklyn20

    The booth/desk height was too low — you were forced to stoop if you are tall. I am, and this gave me a backache. I then appropriated one of the chairs, practically resting my chin on the desk to fill out the ballot.

    The typeface is quite small. The scanner malfunctioned once, biut otherwise all was fine. The people working there (Montague Street) were helpful and seemed quite underemployed due to the light turnout. I do foresee delays and elections with heavier turnouts, though.

  • bklyn20

    To correct my signature typos:

    “But otherwise all was fine”

    “AT elections with higher turnouts”

  • David on Middagh

    – The poll workers at 38 Water Street were very friendly and helpful.
    – I was voter 50-something in my district at 4:30pm-ish. The place was cavernous and almost empty.
    – Coloring in ovals definitely takes more time than flipping levers.
    – I deliberately left the senatorial race blank (having forgotten to investigate the candidates). The scanner does not alert you to that (potential) mistake.
    – I was about to insert the ballot face-down, believing it didn’t matter (didn’t I read that in the mailed instructions?), but machine attendant stopped me. Apparently, it does matter, so no privacy!

  • T.K. Small

    David, according to the Board of Elections website, you are correct. The ballot can be inserted in any direction and it will be scanned. Check out:

  • matthew

    Biv Pimpin’ is getting smoked by J.Mills:

  • matthew

    Also, this Tea Part nutjob winning the GOP guv primary is absolutely terrifying.

  • http://none john

    I was embarassed to have to use thr fresnil lense to magnify the ballot sheet. There were several delegates running that live nearby and Councilman Charles Baron was visiting the polling area. I complained to everyone about the small print and shaky magnification .

  • since47

    No problem voting on Water Street – in and out rather quickly, although there were only three other people voting. But the print is very tiny and it takes longer to fill in those little ovals than it does to push a lever down. And I agree with you Matthew, on your third posting. Yikes!

  • http://none john

    One person infront of the line marked 8 delegates and not just 7. This minor mistake somehow jammed the machine and a line formed around workers trying to retrieve a ballot.

  • Bruce Gregory

    Lets vote against anybody who runs for office and uses them on us.

  • eg

    I voted at CPW also, and found no trouble due to light turnout. There were 5 scanners and I could only use one that got stuck for a short while. Yes, the print could be clearer and not so tightly bunched together.

    My big grievance is due to redistricting I had to walk a lot further when there was a polling place almost across the street from me. I do object because of my disability; it;s a long distance. Who do I contact about changing this? Pls advise.

  • David on Middagh

    Thanks, T.K., for the link. How strange: the scanner attendant told me the machine will spit out a ballot placed face down. I wonder if anyone here saw such a thing. I wish I had insisted on trying…