For every "Oh, it was easy breezy" voting experience story that I heard yesterday, there were a dozen "It was fucking hell" stories that followed. And yeah, I get it, voting lines are almost always CRAZY long so we should have all expected as much, but that doesn't mean that we can't collectively bitch about it.
Below are our stories. Tell us yours in the comments section.
ERICA: P.S. 282. Word to the wise: if you live in district 70: JUST FUCKING MOVE! My line snaked all the way around the gym and the whole thing took me 2+ hours. Everyone working there seemed miserable. I really dug the scan tron ballot, though...
KERRI: My biggest issue at PS 282 was that no one was telling people that if they knew their election district they didn't have to wait in the long-ass line that was snaking out the door and down many blocks, but could go right inside to the gymnasium. I asked the representatives standing outside -- two very young girls -- what the line was for, and neither could give me a straight answer.
URSULA: I voted this morning at the MS 51 on 5th Avenue between 4th and 5th streets. We got there at 9:15 and the line was out the door. At about 9:25 someone came out and told us that the line was just for District 86 and anyone else could come inside for their line. We headed indoors and found that the line for our district -- 93 -- was the shortest by far. Just another perk to living in Gowanus, I guess (go superfunds!). Or maybe it was just karmic balance being restored after our cat grew a third eye on account of the toxic sludge last week. Whatever the reason, it was fine by us. We were in and out in 20 minutes. That said, other people appeared to have a far more trying experience. Several districts had lines snaking in multiple directions across and around the gym. What's worse: there were no "I Voted" stickers and no bakesale! Doh! Long lines + no cookies = democracy is so overrated, as far as I'm concerned. (Just kidding. Everyone should vote. STAY. IN. LINE. It would just be easier with cookies, that's all.)
CHINAE: I was rushing out of the New York sports club locker room when a naked woman who was massaging her feet stopped me:
NINEDAVES: My office building in Manhattan is still without heat or internet, so I've been working from home. This allowed me the opportunity to vote at any point during the day, rather than just before or after work. But because I was swamped with work, and in the middle of a pretty killer America's Next Top Model marathon, I didn't actually leave the house to vote until after 4pm. At that point, there was pretty much no line at my polling place (Camp Friendship on 8th Street and 6th Avenue). There was a little bit of a wait to get my ballot, caused by a slow worker who told me he was "exhausted." And when it came to fill out my ballot, all the stations were full so I had to wait a few minutes (although, there were clearly unused stations piled in the corner that could have been set up to solve this problem). All and all, I was in an out in under 20 minutes. No sticker, but that's hardly a reason to complain.
ANGRY FIPS READER: My voting place on 8th Street in Park Slope was complete and utter chaos. The people running it are incompetent. I waited in line on the sidewalk for about 20 minutes. The woman working at the door continued to usher people in despite the fact that the room was already filled well beyond its capacity.
Inside it was madness. Completely over crowded, packed wall to wall. There was supposed to be some series of lines, each line representing a "district". Half the people there didn't know what goddamned "district" they were a part of, and regardless, there was no semblance of any sort of line. It was just a mob of people. And to make matters worse, the room had ONE small door serving as both and entrance and an exit. I stood in "line" for about 25 minutes until some woman turned to me and said "you realize the end of the line is over there, right?" After that my patience was at an end. I forced my way backward out through the crowd and left.
MEREDITH: Voting this A.M. at MS 51 was a snap--once I figured out which line to stand in. There was a massive queue for District 86, but everyone else was being sent in to vote. I checked my district at the table, 76, and was directed in to a table at which not a single person was waiting. After that, I went directly to fill out my ballot and to a scanner--there was no line for either. I can imagine people waiting in those queues had to wait for a while, but my entire experience took no longer than 15 or 20 minutes. And someone was even un-frazzled enough to snap a pic of me that I needed for work, too. I'd say I had it much, much easier than most--another Park Sloper in my office said she had gone down to MS 51 to find out she'd been moved to 17th and 7th, and then came into the office with the intention to try to go out and vote again later because she didn't have time to head up to the other location.
KIM: At 350 5th Ave, there was voting chaos. HUGE lines in the cold. Thankfully, a kind fellow voter tipped me off that Election District 87 could go inside right away (so glad I looked this up before leaving the house). After skipping the line, I saw that there were only TWO voters amongst the masses of voting machines. I informed the person who checked me in that there was a massive line waiting outside. "Would you please tell them on your way out that they can all come in?" she asked. Sure, let me get my megaphone. Double duty fulfilled - voted and helped others vote quicker. No sticker to boot. Get it together, Park Slope.
JUSTIN: Absentee ballot. Like a majestic salmon, I swam upstream to return to the place of my birth (New Jersey) and laid my eggs of democracy (read: I filled out the form in my PJ's and mailed it in).