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Voting machines down across New York City

November 6, 2018

Voters in New York City are having a hard time casting their ballots on Tuesday as numerous reports surface online about broken voting machines across the city.

Complaints surged for hours on Twitter, saying machines were down in nearly every borough of the city.

Local news reporter Derick Waller posted a video of polling station workers “banging” on the machines.

New reports of broken ballot scanners in Queens. PS 117 in Briarwood. You can hear election workers banging on the machines. I’m told several, if not all, are out of service. #abc7ny #electionday pic.twitter.com/L0jIKJzAbT Derick Waller (@wallerABC7) November 6, 2018

Similar events were reported Brooklyn, where voters were seen leaving the polling station. A man in the video is urging those abandoning the line to return later in the day.

People are leaving because its a 2 hour wait at PS 316 in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Some machines are broken and its extremely crowded. #ElectionDay @WNYC pic.twitter.com/fUCsEOq1Wc Jennifer Hsu (@jennhsu) November 6, 2018

Election Protection, a national nonpartisan group dedicated to voter protection, put out a reminder that people can still vote even if the machines are down. The group told voters to make sure their ballots are securely put in a box or envelop by a polling station worker before leaving.

“This is [a] normal procedure if scanners break, and won’t impact your vote,” the group tweeted.

The broken machines and long lines are sparking calls for election reforms in New York City, including demands for early voting.

Disappointed to hear scanners are broken all over NYC, making it difficult for people (including lots of new voters) to vote. We need Albany to pass early voting/other reforms ASAP in 2019 and the @BOENYC to get its act together. New Yorkers shouldn’t have to deal with this. NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson (@NYCSpeakerCoJo) November 6, 2018

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio joined the calls for change, while urging voters to stick out the long wait.

To everyone waiting in line to vote because of a broken scanner or other problems, your voice matters. Please stay in line. And let’s once and for all get true Board of Elections reforms like early voting so this never happens again. NYC deserves so much better. Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) November 6, 2018

The New York City Board of Elections did not respond to a request for comment.

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