Many Voters Forced to File Paper Ballots

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Wayne Jackson fills out an affidavit ballot at P.S. 44 in East Tremont. This year, his name was not on the voter registration though he has been voting at P.S. 44 for years.

Photo by: Jake Naughton

Wayne Jackson fills out an affidavit ballot at P.S. 44 in East Tremont. This year, his name was not on the voter registration though he has been voting at P.S. 44 for years.

Some voters are experiencing the pains of redistricting this morning as they head to the polls in West Farms and East Tremont.

Laverne Roberts, 49, spent nearly half an hour going from table to table at P.S. 6 on Tremont Avenue as poll workers tried to find her name in the voter registration books. Roberts says she had documentation telling her to come to P.S. 6, but poll workers told her to go elsewhere. Eventually she filled out a paper affidavit ballot and filed it at P.S. 6.

“You get discouraged when you walk in here and you’re all amped up to vote, and the people in there are sitting around saying you gotta go here, you gotta go there, you gotta go here,” said Roberts. “They need to be a little more organized for people who come in here, so they won’t be discouraged.”

Nearly one in four voters, many of whom had voted at P.S. 6 for years and had not moved, found their names missing from the registration books this morning, according to a site coordinator. At the polling site located at The Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation a few blocks away, one voting booth had more affidavit votes than regular ones.

The majority of affidavit votes and voter registration issues are concentrated in Assembly District 87, which encompasses West Farms and continues west through Parkchester and South through Castle Hill. Cheryl Little, the polling coordinator at P.S. 6, said the issues were largely caused by area redistricting.

Wayne Jackson, 45, found himself in a similar situation. He has been voting for years at PS 44, but this year, his name wasn’t on their list.

“Some people get discouraged and walk away because they’re not on the list. I don’t,” he said. “If you don’t start from the lowest end to the highest end, there’s not going to be a change.”

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