I wasn't planning to write anything about the election, but I was shocked this morning when I went to vote: the line ran from the middle of 82nd street, up around to 2nd avenue, and then turned again onto 83rd street. There was another line, maybe not quite as long circling over to first avenue.
Nobody knew whether you needed to stand on the lines if you already knew your district number. Some couples split up, one on each line, and were going back and forth by cell phone about which line was moving. Nobody I ran into had ever seen anything like this in this neighborhood.
I wasn't even going to bring the camera, thinking it would all be pretty boring, but ended up shooting for about two hours. Morning light was great.
Once inside, there was another line to get to the machine, but lines from various districts were merging and there was more confusion. One beefy guy from district 64 wanted me to stand at the end of that line that merged into district 61 (my district) - although there were only a few people on that line for 61. I told him, that's crazy - I'm going ahead of you to get to the 61 machine. He said he knows it's crazy but that's the way it is. So I got a couple of 61 people and we broke into the line and got in ahead of the big guy who glared at us but didn't say anything further. That's right, we laughed - the 61's are going in right here.
Not that it matters much in New York City - but man, it was a wild thing to see.
But one thing that I always find amazing is how outdated the voting technology is in NYC. The machines we use here go back about 75 years, which is the average age of the matrons who man the machines. Everybody on line is cellular, wired, blackberried, PDA-d, and the technology is stone-age. And yes, I know the new computer machines can be tampered with and all that, but I don't understand why they can't make one that prints out a receipt like an ATM. Remember the problems they had in Afghanastan with the wrong pens being used to mark voters hands - our system doesn't seem all that more sophisticated.