Voting in the South Bronx, Names Not on
Lists, Few Choices on Paper Ballots
Byline: Matthew R. Lee of Inner
City Press: News Analysis
November 4 -- The grandeur of the
right to vote, at least for some in New York's South Bronx on
November 4, was tawdry,
disorganized and gave little confidence even that votes would be
long-time polling place in a public school on Southern Boulevard was
shut, with no signs directing those who arrived to vote as they had in
years to any new location. A security guard ambled over and pointed
parking lot at another school.
"It's there this year," he said. But
there were two locked fences between the two schools, requiring a
two sets of keys. The excited chatter about Democratic nominee Barack
quickly changing to complaints about the NYC Board of Elections, even,
Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
previous day at City Hall in Manhattan, speaker after speaker
Bloomberg for overriding term limits to seek the Mayoralty for a third
next year. Brooklyn Councilman Charles Barron called it a "disgrace,"
and told the nonplussed Bloomberg "I'll see you on the battlefield."
A pedi-cab cyclists trashed both Bloomberg and the treatment of
horses. A rabbi was wheeled out to praise the Mayor. In these times of financial
crisis, it was said, we need him. In this case, apparently, the
Change We Can
Believe In is just four more years of the same.
This machine, seen in primary, was denied to
some Bronx voters
Once in the
second school, in a gymnasium with basketball hoops without nets,
long-time South Bronx voters were told that their names "were not on
list this year," and to vote by affidavit. This was to be filled out in
pseudo voting booth constructed of three pieces of cardboard, a mere 11
paper ballot offered very few choices: a long-time Assemblyman
getting rubber-stamped to return to Albany, two judges few had ever
and at the top the presidential contest. Would Bob Barr get even a
single vote in this
South Bronx district? Would Ralph Nader? Would these paper ballots even
definitely," a matronly poll watcher assured. But how were the voters
Watch this site, and this Oct. 2 debate, on
UN, bailout, MDGs
and this October 17 debate, on
Security Council and Obama and the UN.
* * *
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for a Reuters
AlertNet piece by this correspondent
about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click
for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali
Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an
undefined trust fund. Video
UN Office: S-453A, UN, NY 10017
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