Bay Ridge residents are showing up in droves to exercise their right to vote in this year’s all important midterm elections, leaving some angry at long waits.
The election has generated enthusiasm among members of both parties, with representation of the 11th Congressional District, the 22nd State Senate District, and the 46th and 64th Assembly Districts among the races being run.
Local Bay Ridge resident Matthew Guadagno, who voted at Christ Church, 7301 Ridge Blvd, at around 7 a.m., said he felt the excitement.
“It wasn’t too bad at first,” he said. “It took me maybe 10 minutes to vote, but lines were much longer when I left. They were out the door. One of the people who worked there said the line was long before they opened. My neighbor was actually there handing out flyers and gave me a high five.”
Others didn’t have such a great experience due to the high turnout.
“Polling location at 6th and 72nd Street is busier than I’ve seen it, in the decade I’ve been voting locally,” said Jeanne Solomon on the Bay Ridge Talk Facebook page. “There was a line to have our name located, a line to vote once we got our ballots and a line to have our ballots scanned in. All went smoothly, but in fall 2016 general election and the September 2018 primary (and other times I’ve voted locally) I sailed through all 3 points with no line, between 6:15 and 6:45 a.m., today same time took longer.”
“Christ Church on 73rd & Ridge cannot accommodate the influx of voters,” wrote James McCormack on the One and Only Bay Ridge Facebook page. “The way the ballot stations were laid out gave no privacy, not to mention the ballot machines that were jamming, & it’s not conducive to the elderly or handicapped! A new bigger place is needed for this part of the community for the next election!”
“This is happening all over,” responded Councilmember Justin Brannan. “Turnout is way higher than normal + the new ballots = a hot mess.”
Others were more optimistic about the turnout.
“There were lines at 6:20 a.m.,” wrote Robert Brigante Rossicone. “The double page ballot doesn’t help. Love the higher turnout.”
“I will absolutely wait to vote. I was on a line for close to 30 minutes with people trying to cut in or people who simply didn’t know what to do,” added Lindsay M. “Kept being told, ‘If you don’t want to wait, you can drop your vote in the emergency ballot box.” Absolutely not. I wanted to make sure that my vote was actually counted. The entire process was a complete mess. Multiple machines down, and being harassed on the way to the polls.”
“I waited 20 minutes at 8:45 – lines everywhere – I’d gladly wait to vote,” said Theresa Palermo, who voted at P.S. 264, 371 89th Street. “High voter turnout is refreshing to see. People care.”