In 2010, New York State swapped out the metal voting machines that resembled something from the 1950s for the boxy new DS 200 Precinct Scanners. According to numerous tipsters who have voted across the city, these laptops imported from 1984 scanners have been jamming or breaking with regularity.

  • From a reader at the Marseilles Senior Center at 230 West 103rd Street: "Two scanners were already down at 9:30 a.m., then the last one stopped working. They started collecting ballots for manual counting."
  • On the Upper East Side: "Poll worker just advised this line there are problems with some scanners and it's an hour and a half wait."
  • At P.S. 234 in Astoria: "Took two alphabetically challenged poll workers to locate my name on their books. Then I was handed a stupid ballot I had to fill out by hand and take to another poll worker at scanner…Everyone, particularly the poll workers, hate the scanners."
  • The polling site at P.S. 167 on the Upper East Side appears to be operating with a single scanner. A reader writes: "Waited in line for over an hour to get a ballot, then got sent back outside to wait in this line to feed the ballot into the scanner."
  • From another reader on the Upper West Side: "Just before I voted, both scanners (there were only two for the two districts voting in this location!!) jammed. Someone called a technician, who knows if they ever showed. Then they reverted to paper ballots."
  • Our own Jake Dobkin saw at least one scanner jam at the polling station at 250 Cadman Plaza West, and a poll worker in Williamsburg told John Del Signore that two out of five scanners at his polling site were broken.
  • Things were slightly more orderly at P.S. 8 in Brooklyn Heights, according to a reader: "One machine broke down midway through, but they got it back up quickly."
  • According to a reader, poll workers at Park West High School on West 50th Street weren't instructing voters to use the "special marking pen" the scanner requires: "[workers are] NOT advising people to use authorized marking pen, 50% using other tool."
  • Another reader at P.S. 48 in Washington Heights said that after their machine jammed, "There were screaming fights between the poll workers. One was screaming at us that our votes wouldn't be counted. The other was screaming that they would be, but later. I was already over 40 minutes late for work...so I just put it in the box and left."
  • Finally, editor Jen Chung tells us that at 180 Riverside Boulevard, the "Ballot scanner was jammed when I finally entered the room (I had been waiting in the hallway). There was someone with the BOE fixing the scanner and she was telling the poll worker that she would need to file an incident report, etc. The scanner got fixed, but then five minutes later, the asshole who was bitching about the line ended up jamming it again because he FOLDED his ballot and tried to feed it into the machine."

And the Tweets, oh, the Tweets: 300 people waiting in line at a Crown Heights polling station for a single scanner. Three out of four scanners broken in Prospect Heights. Scanners causing "crazy lines at P.S. 282 in Park Slope."

We've reached out to the State Board of Elections to see if there are backup scanners or plans to smooth things out the rest of the day, and will update if we hear back. None of this would be happening if we had kept the Democracy Knobs of yore.