Mamaroneck voters complained of oversized ballots, lack of privacy and breakdowns with the new scanners Tuesday.
With a particularly large roster of candidates on the ticket in Mamaroneck, where candidates are seeking election to village and statewide offices, voters had to fill out ballots that were nearly two feet long from top to bottom and had to be split into two parts to be read by the scanners.
Voters, confused about how to insert their two-part ballots into the machines, had to call poll workers over for help.
“For the people who came to vote, it was a whole new learning experience,” said Manfred Rosenthal, a poll worker overseeing voting at District 22 at the town center.
Mamaroneck Town Supervisor Valerie O’Keeffe was furious about the complications. At the Palmer Avenue firehouse site, where she voted Tuesday, she said some of the scanner machines weren’t working, and some voters were given Ossining ballots mistakenly sent to Mamaroneck.
“It was one disaster after another,” O’Keeffe said Tuesday evening, as she left her office at town center. “The machines don’t work. They sent Ossining ballots to Mamaroneck. Nobody knows what they’re doing.”
There were also problems at the town center court house, where scanners malfunctioned for two of the four voting districts stationed there, forcing voters who showed up between about 7 a.m. and noon to fill out emergency affidavit ballots that won’t be counted until later.
“We were going crazy here,” said Helen Pitsikalis, a poll workers for District 23, which had a scanner breakdown.
“People were saying they’d rather have the old machines.”
More than 200 affidavit ballots had to be cast because of scanner problems at town center, poll workers said.
O’Keeffe said the lever-operated machines would have been better: “This is scaring me about the democracy, about holding the country together.
“It would be better in Afghanistan.”