Tonawanda News

Opinion

November 9, 2012

READER LETTER: Niagara election board failed voters

Tonawanda News — I am one of those people who pesters everyone they know in the weeks leading up to the election. “Are you registered to vote? Do you know where your polling place is?” I registered to vote the first month I was eligible to do so, and encouraged everyone I know to do the same.

With this commitment to civic responsibility, I was more surprised than anyone to find myself standing in line at the Niagara County Board of Elections (BoE) at the eleventh hour on Election Day, trying to get a court order so that I could once again participate in the political process.

Last month I moved from New York City to Niagara County, and found that the voting address change I submitted at the DMV wouldn’t be valid for the general election. I called the BoE to find out what I needed to do, and thus began two weeks of frustration.

The judge signing the court orders was only available during working hours, so I needed to schedule around my lunch hour. I was told I could see the judge at 1 p.m. in the BoE office, and arrived to be told he’d actually be in the courthouse at 2. The staff told me my only other option was to come between 4 and 4:15 p.m. on Election Day. I diligently arrived at 3:45 p.m. where I was greeted with a melee; there was mass confusion and a mob of people all told to show up at the same time.

The BoE staff belligerently insisted to any who inquired that the judge was seeing people “first come, first serve” which everyone could see was patently untrue. Polite inquiries were met with snotty responses, and one staff member went so far as to tell a group, myself included, that we were there by choice and if we didn’t want to wait in line (upwards of three hours for some) we didn’t have to vote.

Text Only
Opinion
  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: On reading and the lack thereof It was surprising to me a few weeks ago when a friend asked a group of us to estimate how many books we have each read over the last five years. The English teacher said 200 and he far and away led the pack. I was probably the median and my number was 20-25.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: A Con-Con would be a con game

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: Conflict in Ukraine now a concern of global proportions It seems increasingly clear Ukrainian separatists, with the help from the Russian military, are responsible for the tragedy. They, of course, have denied it. They've also denied access to the crash site to international investigators seeking to recover the dead and determine what happened. That's not something the innocent party does.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADAMCZYK: Personal development, rendered in steel Accepting the premise that everyone needs to fill the same amount of time every day (24 hours, every day), some people use theirs rebuilding things, tangible things, and thus fulfill a few intangible goals.

    July 18, 2014

  • WALLACE: Festival season is underway Summer is the season of fairs and festivals. From Canal Fest in the Tonawandas to the Allentown Art Festival and Italian Heritage Festival in Buffalo to the Erie County Fair in Hamburg, the Western New York area has no shortage of things to do with the family over the summer.

    July 17, 2014

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: King George's abdication leaves many questions I've covered Niagara County politics for 10 years and it's been a fascinating -- and often infuriating -- experience. With the news the man known with equal parts respect and cynicism as "King George" is walking away it's about to get more interesting.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Canal Fest, here we come This column should be titled "Roads and Streets." First of all, Meadow Drive is finally open. Although it took very long to be completed, it's beautiful. Riding by the other day brought into focus how many people will use this to cut across town. One less thing for residents to complain about.

    July 12, 2014

  • ADAMCZYK: Homesick for someplace I've never been You stumble over things that make you wonder. I do, at least, and the latest is one of those advertising artifacts from yesteryear that encourage me to ponder what's changed and what never will.

    July 11, 2014

  • WALLACE: Playing politics as usual The immigration crisis is just the most recent example of how dysfunctional Washington, D.C. is right now.

    July 10, 2014

  • duvall, eric.jpg A stunning scandal in Mississippi-voting|DUVALL: A stunning scandal in Mississippi We don't tend to talk a whole lot about Mississippi on this paper's editorial page and for good reason. It's a long way away in both distance and temperament. But I swear this will be worth it.

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo