Devastated Hurricane Sandy Victims Begin to Vote at Dawn's Early Light
On Staten Island, Dorothy North, who works for the Department of Education, said her first floor was flooded after the hurricane. But that didn't stop her from coming out to vote on Tuesday.
"I lost my stuff. I have nothing left," she said. "But I came here because I vote Democrat, and I'm on Staten Island. Who else will?"
At P.S. 52 on Buel Avenue in South Beach, two heaters were set up for voters — but workers, most of whom were senior volunteers, were positioned in an area with no heat.
"They didn't inform us we'd be in a tent at all," said Diane, 67, who was sitting in her wheelchair while her husband rubbed her gloveless hands to keep her warm. "I dressed for being inside, not outside, and we cannot leave."
Diane, who asked that her last name not be used, said the volunteers were working in the dark, too.
"When we got here, nothing was set up," she added, noting that the site opened at 5 a.m. "It was pitch black."
Polling sites on Staten Island, the Rockaways in Queens and Coney Island in Brooklyn, some of the areas most devastated and still recovering from the killer storm, faced the most challenges in the city on Election Day.
In Coney Island, voters were inconvenienced by a lack of pens, scanning problems and a dearth of private voting booths.
"It looks like they're not very organized here," said Victor Lee, 50, after voting at Lincoln High School at 2800 Ocean Parkway. "It seemed very chaotic.
"The whole process should have taken one minute," Lee, who normally votes at the North Shore Nursing Home, added. "But it took 10 minutes."
Frances Chery, 25, a student at Kingsborough Community College, had it worse — she drove around with a nearly empty gas tank and missed an 8 a.m. class.