Elections board screwed up big time
Sep 27, 2012 | 8168 views | 0 0 comments | 158 158 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dear Editor:

Just when I thought the Board of Elections (BOE) couldn't get any dumber, they proved me wrong. On Primary Day they screwed up big-time, offending most Kew Gardens Hills Democratic and Jewish voters.

Here's what happened: The regular polling place - P.S. 164 at 77th Ave. and 135th St. - was deemed inaccessible to the handicapped by the U.S. Justice Dept. They were wrong, but more on that later.

The BOE replaced P.S 164 with St. Nicholas of Tolentine Church at 150-75 Goethals Ave., which is in Hillcrest, not Kew Gardens Hills. This outraged Orthodox Jewish voters who refused to set foot in a Catholic church.

After Assemblyman Michael Simanowitz intervened, the BOE announced that it was shifting the polling place to the Kew Gardens Hills Library at 72-33 Vleigh Place. Everything seemed satisfactory, until election day.

When I arrived at the library, a BOE poll worker told me that only registered Republicans could vote at that location. Democrats had to vote at St. Nicholas of Tolentine. Many voters were furious and didn't vote.

Whoever heard of separate polling places for Democrats and Republicans? This tops a rotten record of performance by the BOE, including faulty electronic voting machines and archaic vote tabulating procedures.

Fortunately, there was light voter turnout. If this disaster is repeated on in November, most Kew Gardens Hills voters will be disenfranchised.

The solution is to restore P.S. 164 as the polling place for everyone. That can be done by opening the school's entrance just off 77th Ave., allowing unimpeded access to the gym, where voting took place.


Richard Reif


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