Live Blog: Election Night 2008
(SEE LIVE BLOG AFTER THE JUMP)
(Don’t forget to come back this evening at 8pm for the Live Election Results Blog!)
Hoboken afternoon voting update
Many of Hoboken’s polling places have been overwhelmed in yet another predictable and preventable mess. The polls with the biggest problems and longest waits serve the wards and districts with the biggest influx of new construction over the last several years. While the populations of the 2nd and 4th wards have grown the number of voting machines at their polling places remain the same. For instance, the ward with the biggest population (the 4th) has the fewest districts! This means long lines and big problems, especially for newcomers in the 4-1 and 4-2.
Uptown Firehouse Fiasco
Up in the 2nd ward thousands of new residents from Maxwell Place, Shipyard, and Hudson Tea buildings waited on long lines this morning to vote in the cramped firehouse on Washington Street. Everybody from Governor Jon Corzine to Giants QB Eli Manning had to wait as the process moved a glacial pace. Watch for more lines tonight as people come home from work.
Demarest trouble this morning
People were reportedly being turned away from the Demarest school polling place serving parts of the 1st and 6th wards. Apparently a lot of new voters know where to vote, but don’t know their ward and district numbers. This caused mass confusion for some reason. The poll workers were not prepared to deal with the issue, and may not have had the proper books from the county clerk. There was trouble at City Hall when another 1st ward voter asked for instructions on how to write in a candidate. The voter got hassled by poll workers who didn’t know, and apparently didn’t want the voter to do it. So much for “Personal Choice.”
4th ward voting troubles
Voting at 221 Jackson Street were the 4-2 and 4-3 cast their ballots was similar to the scene at the uptown firehouse. The 4-2 was overwhelmed with new faces looking to cast their ballots. The newcomers of the SkyClub, Harrison Court, etc, ended up on a line that went around the block for hours this morning.. Note there are also quite a few Republicans in the 4-2, for what it’s worth. Some issues were also reported at 220 Adams Street, where the 4-1 votes alongside the relatively quiet 3-1, made up of hardcore old school Hobokenites from the senior building and Clock Towers.
Mixed bag for 5th ward voters
Voting at the Wallace School was “a nightmare” according to some who voted this morning. We hear there was confusion among sparring poll workers fighting amongst themselves when they weren’t sparring with voters. Again the influx of new voters now living in the Northwest Redevelopment Zone who weren’t there four years ago is helping overwhelm unprepared polls. Few complaints heard about the Elks Lodge and Brandt School locations, which serve neighborhoods that were fully “built out” 50 years ago. Fox Hill has been hot and cold, with some concerns about the PM Willow Avenue Bus rush hitting smack dab into the post-afternoon nap wheelchair and walker crowd.
WHY is this so difficult?
There are two main theories why this mess is allowed to happen, and they are probably both correct. The first one says the City of Hoboken and Hudson County elections officials are just inept and have no ability to plan well enough to avoid two-hour long lines. The don’t put enough machines in, don’t equip them with enough books, and don’t train their workers well enough. Many of the workers you see at the polls have been doing this for decades and haven’t changed their procedures with the times.
Others say that theory lets the clerks off the hook too easily. Smart people I know say this is all done by design. The Hudson County machine wants all these new voters at the Washington Street Firehouse uptown and 220 Adams Street senior Housing downtown to remember that voting in Hoboken means long lines. The HCDO knows most of these new voters will stand in line to vote for Obama, but come May when it comes time to vote for a new Mayor and Council they will think back to the inconvenience they suffered today and decide to skip the it. This leaves the same old machine block of voters casting the deciding votes in the local election that actually affects us the most every day.
If you haven’t voted yet try to leave work early to miss the PM rush. If you are on the line to vote before 8pm THEY MUST LET YOU VOTE!
COME BACK FOR LIVE BLOGGING AT AROUND 8PM!
Get out and vote today! (Even if you use the “personal choice” option!)
Want to share your election results sentiments with other Hoboken residents? Want to cry – or rub your victory in? Want to do it from the comfort of your own home without getting a beer bottle smashed over your head?
Come back to Hoboken411 at around 8pm to share your thoughts about the conclusion of the exhaustive and “most important” election in American history.
Live Google Map – Election Results