The long lines are unacceptable. NYS Board of Elections sent me a copy of a memo they sent to Commissioners of County Board of Elections authorizing more hours, more staff. 2, 3 and 4 and a half hour waits to vote unreasonable.
WESTCHESTER COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTIONS NEEDS TO HAVE LONGER HOURS, MORE STAFF AT GREENBURGH VOTING LOCATIONS
2, 3 AND 4 AND A HALF HOUR WAITS FOR VOTERS IS EXCESSIVE AND NOT REASONABLE
COPY BELOW OF NYS BOARD OF ELECTIONS MEMO TO COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTIONS COMMISSIONERS
--Greenburgh looking for volunteer entertainers this weekend to make wait better
SUGGESTION----HAVE ONE HOUR EARLIER VOTING HOUR ONLY FOR THE DISABLED AND FRAIL ELDERLY
Although the town of Greenburgh has no control over the election process (the county Board of Elections oversees the elections) -we are trying hard to make the election process less stressful for voters who have been waiting on line for long periods of time. We are:
1) live streaming the Greenburgh Town Hall voting location so you'll have a better idea when to vote;
2) Offering outdoor flu shots to voters waiting on line--courtesy of the Greenburgh Health Center;
3) arranged for food trucks to be at Town Hall parking area so hungry voters-waiting in line- can purchase food and drink;
4) created a senior citizen line
5) created priority lines for the disabled and very frail elderly - they go first
I think the town is doing more than most communities to make the voting experience a less aggravating experience.
HOPE TO HAVE ENTERTAINMENT THIS WEEKEND FROM VOLUNTEER MUSICIANS, YOGA INSTRUCTORS. Want to volunteer? E mail email@example.com or me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Judith Beville, the town clerk, is an outstanding events coordinator. She knows how to party! And if voters are going to vote for the candidate who represents the party of their choice, the voters might want to also party while voting for their party.
The lines are very long -2, 3 hours and this weekend over 4 and a half hours for some voters --which is outrageous. I have been complaining and received the following e mail from the NYS Board of Elections authorizing the County Board of Elections to increase hours.
A SUGGESTION---I think that the County Board of Elections should have an earlier voting hour for only the disabled and frail elderly. Should be scheduled before the polling places open to everyone else. The voting booths are cleaner at the beginning of voting hours. Those with medical conditions would be safer if they have less contact with lots of other people (during COVID-19).
THIS IS FROM THE NYS BOARD OF ELECTIONS TO LOCAL BOARD OF ELECTIONS
Responding to High Voter Turnout During Early Voting:
9 NYCRR 6210.19 (d) (1) expressly requires “[i]f the voter waiting time at an early voting site exceeds 30 minutes the Board of Elections shall deploy such additional voting equipment, election workers and other resources necessary to reduce the wait time to less than 30 minutes as soon as possible but no later than the beginning of the next day of early voting.”
While the current voter enthusiasm is higher than anticipated, boards with voter wait times exceeding thirty minutes must work to come into compliance with the early voting wait time standard.
In addition, boards may decide on a bipartisan basis provide additional staff/voter sign-in stations and/or increase the early voting hours to meet the added demand. Election Law § 8-600 (4)(d) provides: "(n)othing in this section shall be construed to prohibit any board of elections from establishing a greater number of hours for voting during the early voting period beyond the number of hours required in this subdivision." Any expansion of hours would need to be provided uniformly at all poll sites in your county.
Please contact our office with any questions.
Robert A. Brehm
New York State Board of Elections
Greenburgh Town Supervisor