Voters’ voices on the New York primary

Our reporters are at polling places across the Capital Region talking to voters. The latest from the
At the Jewish Community Center,  Jeff Witsoe finishes voting in the NYS Primary on Tuesday April 19, 2016.
At the Jewish Community Center, Jeff Witsoe finishes voting in the NYS Primary on Tuesday April 19, 2016.

Our reporters are at polling places across the Capital Region talking to voters. The latest from the field:

6:40 p.m. — Trouble voting?

5:35 p.m. — Attorney General gets most complaints ever

The state Attorney General’s office has received the largest volume of complaints to date for an election in today’s primaries.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office received 562 phone calls and 140 emails with complaints from voters as of about 4 p.m. regarding the state primary, according to a press release from his office.

“To put this in context, we received roughly 150 total complaints for the 2012 general election,” spokesman Nicholas Benson said in an email. “This is by far the largest volume of complaints we have received for an election since Attorney General Schneiderman took office in 2011.”

The most common complaint has been from individuals who attempted to vote but were told by poll workers they are not registered to vote at all.

Another common complaint is from individuals who are registered to vote but they were informed they are not registered with a particular political party.

“We have also received complaints about poll workers allegedly denying voters affidavit ballots when requested, with some evidence that this is more of a problem in upstate than in New York City and its suburbs,” Benson said.

Other complaints include a lack of privacy at polling places, accessibility issues unclear instructions from poll workers and the color ink to use on ballots.

—Haley Viccaro

4:40 p.m. — “Not Hillary”

4:25 p.m. — Hitting the polls

4 p.m. — Complaints in Rotterdam

3:55 p.m. — Why Bernie?

3 p.m. — Voting in Saratoga County

2:40 p.m. — Voters turn out for a crowded field

Voters were out early Tuesday afternoon to vote for their preferred candidates for this fall’s presidential election.

It’s a crowded field. Democrats were choosing between former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Republicans were considering frontrunner Donald Trump, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

Some voters were confused by primary polling times: While polls open locally at 6 a.m. for the November general election, most polls in the Capital Region and upstate New York open at noon for primary selections. Officials at both the Schenectady and Saratoga County Boards of Elections both said they had received about two dozens calls from people complaining they could not vote early.

Bill Vincent, 64, of Niskayuna, filled out his ballot at the Jewish Community Center on Balltown Road in Niskayuna. “Bernie,” he said, of his vote for Sanders. “I’m voting against Hillary. I can’t stand her. I wanted to make sure my vote counted this year.”

The JCC polling place was busy right from the start. “We’ve had 50 people in the first half hour,” said elections inspector Kathie Greenwald.

“It’s almost even as far as parties,” added Meg Howley, chairwoman at the JCC poll.

Janice Corcoran, 62, wanted to make sure her vote counted this year.

“Just because the way things are today,” said Corcoran, who declined to name her candidate. “It’s important to have your say.”

Saul Berkowitz had his say about Sanders and Clinton.

“I like Bernie a lot, but he can’t win nationally,” said Berkowitz, 70. “They’re going to use some nasty words against him. I’m voting for Hillary because she can win.”

At Niskayuna Town Hall off Nott Street Extension, about a dozen Democrats were in line just before 1 p.m. There were no Republicans — but members of the party arrived a few minutes later. Corinne Cazer, 77, and her husband Donald, 78, were among them.

“Everybody’s energized in this election,” Corinne said of the turnout. “We are Kasich supporters. He knows how to reach across the aisle and get things done.”

“He’s the only one who can beat Hillary,” added Donald.

Kasich also has the vote of Norman Nicholas, 50.

“I think it’s incredibly important,” Nicholas said of the election. “We’ve had eight years of Barack Obama. If we have eight years of Hillary Clinton, I don’t know if the country is going to recover from progressivism.”

Ted Cruz has a friend in Doug Phillips. “I’ve been for him for a long time,” said Phillips, 83. “He believes in the Constitution, be believes in the Bill of Rights.”

Like their counterparts at the JCC, Niskayuna Town Hall election inspectors said they had been busy since noontime. Ariel Pannenborg, 46, was in the first wave.

“You can’t miss it this year,” she said. “Every time you turn on the news, you’re reminded there’s a big election coming up. I voted for Bernie Sanders. I like his voting record, everything except gun control. He’s done pretty well, but I wish he was a little stronger about it.”

—Jeff Wilkin

2:20 p.m. — Lining up at Schenectady High School

1:55 p.m. — Schenectady High School

1:15 p.m. — Niskayuna Town Hall

12:45 p.m. — Jewish Community Center in Niskayuna

Categories: -News-, Schenectady County

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