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Problems at polling locations leave voters feeling uncounted and disenfranchised
ONEIDA COUNTY, N.Y. (WKTV) - Calls began flooding the WKTV Newsroom after Noon on Tuesday, as voters went to the polls all across the county - only to find that their polling places were not set up.
The voters called from polling places that included Albany Street Elementary School, Harts Hill School in Whitesboro, General Herkimer School in Utica, and the United Methodist Church in New Hartford, just to name a few.
Although polling sites in the area opened at Noon, many said they showed up well after Noon to find that they had to wait, in some cases, more than half an hour for organizers and volunteers to set up the voting machines, which were not ready at the scheduled starting time.
Many voters who said they were on a lunch break - their only time to get out and vote - were unable to do so, and left disenfranchised and frustrated that their voices would not be counted due to the problems that were well out of the voters hands.
Not all the complaints that were called into the newsroom had anything to do with the voting machines.
One Utica voter said they voted around 1 p.m. at the Twin Towers in East Utica - the second time they were voting there, they said, after they relocated my polling place from the East Side Community Center.
The voter said they found that there were no signs outside to indicate a polling place, and no American Flag outside - the usual marker for polling places.
No "100 Foot" Marker signs were on hand to delineate the no-campaigning buffer, the voter said, and that residents from the Twin Towers still permitted use of their community room while voting was going on.
However, the Twin Towers voter called the actual voting process "simple and uncomplicated."
A New Hartford voter contacted us to say their polling location at the New Hartford Fire House had one elderly woman working at it Tuesday afternoon. The voters said the woman told them the three people scheduled to run the voting equipment did not show up Tuesday.
The voter claimed they attempted to contact multiple agencies, including the Board of Elections, the New Hartford Police, and even the maintenance workers for the voting machines. The voter said a maintenance worker arrived on site shortly before 1 p.m. where they were able to get the machines up and running, and explain to those in line how to use them.
If you are experiencing problems at a polling location - such as machines that don't work or were not set up - please contact our newsroom at firstname.lastname@example.org