An untold number of New York City voters had a frustrating time at the polls yesterday: Scanners buckled under the demands of so much civic duty done, tasked with accommodating not only an extra large voter turnout, but also this year's big 'n tall, two-for-one ballots. On top of all that, it was raining and humid, which the Board of Elections says caused some ballots swell and jam the scanners. We still managed to get the job done, but the hours-long lines are not a sign of a functional democracy.

The chaos created extra work for people staffing the polls, and I for one am prepared to grant some free passes to those who occasionally let their exasperation show. But according to tipster Nicole Pasquale, who signed up as a poll worker at a Williamsburg poll site in I.S. 71 on Tuesday and with whom (full disclosure) this writer used to work, the site managers dispensed with the niceties even before polls opened.

"At 5 a.m. I was told to not ask questions and just do as I’m told," Pasquale told Gothamist. "That should've been a little red flag from the beginning."

Pasquale penned a letter detailing her experience, which she submitted to both the Kings County and Manhattan Board of Elections offices, and also posted to social media. She said she watched her fellow poll workers instructing voters that if they did not vote down ticket—if, for example, they selected a Working Families candidate for governor but a Democratic candidate for the Senate—then their ballot would not be processed.

Around 6 p.m., Pasquale wrote, she realized that this had been a directive from the poll site managers and pushed back, only to have them yell at her. According to Pasquale, they also responded aggressively to voters who questioned this made-up rule—split-ticket voting is legal—with the site manager screaming, "Are you calling me a liar?!" at someone who expressed doubt.

Remarkably, Pasquale's site was not among the many flooded with bewildered citizens and only saw one of six scanners break. People did have trouble with the king-size ballots, however. The more experienced poll workers reportedly noticed a higher-than-average number of voided ballots because people kept making mistakes. According to Pasquale, this seemed to contribute to a prickly atmosphere, with poll workers chastising voters for messing up the questions on an already confusing ballot made more difficult to decipher by its interminable length and DIY ripping requirement.

Workers falling asleep on the job exacerbated the poll site's sense of sloppiness, Pasquale said, but the hostility toward questions "created a really intimidating kind of atmosphere." The managers didn't care to cross check ballot counts for the broken scanner, she added, and while the whole experience left her feeling deflated, but Pasquale seemed more inclined to blame the system.

"These are nice people who I think were misinformed, not properly supervised, underpaid, and overworked, resulting in a stressful, inefficient, misleading voting experience," she wrote.

Pasquale says Ray Riley, chief clerk at the BOE's Brooklyn Borough Office, accepted her letter in person and vowed to investigate its content, apologizing for the experience and thanking her for her service.

We have contacted the BOE to ask what they plan to do about the complaint, and what kinds of steps they might take for future elections to ensure poll workers are better equipped to handle the stress of the day. Because certainly, poll workers are responsible for keeping up civility, even when faced with nonsense of towering proportions—you must be patient indeed to guide often ill-informed citizens through 15 hours of civic duty—but as the BOE reminded us yesterday, it seems largely incapable of orchestrating an election without things spiraling out of control. I mean come on, how is it that in the country's biggest city, a little bit of rain tanks whole polling sites for hours?