Ah, New York City! It’s the day to vote in the election you know about and think you’re going to vote in but might not, one in which the most suspenseful race of the day involves whether or not you actually care enough to get out there and pull the lever. We’re going to be liveblogging and updating the vote with results and news from around the five boroughs and state today. If you see anything worth noting, hand it over, or use the #NYPrimaries hashtag on Twitter to shoot stuff our way.
7:50 p.m.: Up With the Floodgates — In the heart of the Monserrate/Moya battle for Jose Peralta’s old State Assembly seat, which Peralta vacated after he won Monserrate’s old Senate seat. Both sides are battling low turnout with large hordes of volunteers — far more than we’ve seen in any other part of the city — but it’s much quieter than the screaming street brawls that broke out when Monserrate tried to win back the seat he’d been ousted from earlier this year. Councilman Dromm, out for Moya, says the polling site at Queens P.S.89 was plagued by a flood that shut down voting for a period today. — Steven Thrasher
6:30 p.m.: Mayor Bloomberg Pissed Big Time at Board of Elections —
The mayor called today’s transition to paper ballots a “royal screw-up” and “completely unacceptable,” chastising poll workers who showed up late, mechanical breakdowns, and long lines, according to the Daily News. He pointed out that the city spent $77 million over the past five years to make the booth-to-paper transition, and that didn’t even include the $85 million that the federal government spent to purchase the devices. Damn, New York, dad’s pissed. — Leslie Minora
3:00 p.m.: Beans and Rice for Sen. Diaz? — Marriage Equality New York has its sights set on two New York State Senators who voted against gay marriage who are running in primaries today: Ruben Diaz of the Bronx and Shirley Huntley of Queens.
In the Bronx, attorney Dean Dafis is working as an election observer on behalf of MENY for Charlie Ramos, who is challenging Diaz.
Dafis tells us that there’s widespread “voter influence” being wielded by translators at polling sites. He says that particularly because “these are new machines everyone’s using for the first time,” translators are doing things that “give the appearance of impropriety,” including helping people fill out their ballots (which is illegal). He says Ramos’s own mother was “directed to vote for Diaz, by people who didn’t know who she was.”
As Dafis and civil rights attorney Yetta Kurland have checked out a dozen polling sites in the Bronx, he texts:
— “Diaz encouraging voters to use his campaign literature which has recreated ballot on back to use a guide to their filling out the ballot which is illegal of course”
— “At polling station 131 one of the main voting sites, most machines, tons [of] voters, verified poll observers were thrown out without cause and intimidated”
— And, most hilariously, “Diaz has food trucks out giving free rice and beans…little plates of hot food.”
I guess Diaz thinks if being a Reverend ain’t enough of a reason to get people to vote for you, try bribing them with food.
— Steven Thrasher
12:30 p.m.: Kevin Powell, A Real Talk Candidate — New York congressional candidate Kevin Powell (D) weighs in on Twitter with his voting experience:
I just voted for myself for Congress. The new voting system is terrible. But please do it anyway. Need your vote.
— Kevin Powell (@kevin_powell) September 14, 2010
12:25 p.m.: Feed the Beast, Video Edition — If you can stomach it, here’s a video of the new voting machines in action, as demonstrated last month. Our suggestion? Turn the volume down on this one, and up on this one. Far more relaxing.
12:20 p.m.: The Crook Hook Guide to NY Voting! — Carl Campanile at the New York Post has the perfect New York Primaries voters guide, separating the politicians with ethical scandals, and giving you one handy guide to know which ones are which! Fun. –FK.
12:15 p.m.: Feed the Beast Via Joe My God, enjoy this picture of one of our new voting machine overlords: THE MACHINES.
12:10 p.m.: More Pictures of Politicians Voting for Themselves Here’s another picture of Charlie Rangel voting for himself. Here’s a picture of Carolyn Maloney voting for herself. –FK.
12:00 p.m.: In the Mouth of Boringness — Village Voice editor-in-chief Tony Ortega did his civic duty today, and reports on a more, well, flaccid scene: “Madness? Hey, this was a primary. There were only two other voters at my polling place, and my polling place combines like five different precincts. The guy who took my ID literally had to rouse himself from a nap. However, the new ballot itself was a snap to fill out, and the scanner took it in a flash. I was directed to put my ballot directly into the scanner on my own by a poll worker. I miss the old machines, but this was a super-fast new system, and I like having a paper ballot as a permanent record.” –FK.
11:45 a.m.: Voting Machine Malfunctions, Right on Time — There are, naturally, problems with the voting machines. The NYT CityRoom notes that polling places had trouble opening due to the new equipment and irate voters who are actually having to insist on putting their ballots in the machines themselves. Nobody is surprised. –FK.
11:30 a.m.: Rangel Punches In — Charlie Rangel has voted! According to the New York Times, he did so at P.S.175 in the 15th, accompanied by his wife. Hopefully he found a way to do it without getting another ethics charge in the process. –FK.