Voting "Shenanigans" At Manhattan Beach Poll Station

A Manhattan Beach voter is outraged at what she describes as “shenanigans” at the neighborhood’s poll station, P.S. 195 at 131 Irwin Street.

The reader said that the books with voter names, addresses and districts were lost, leading to long waits, possibly duplicate votes and some voters even walking away before fulfilling their democratic duties.

“It’s total chaos there,” said Phyllis, the resident who asked that we not use her full name. She continued:

The voting books did not show up. They did not have my name. The poeple who are Russian over there could not speak English. I was unable to vote and my husband seems to have been able to vote twice; once on a paper ballot and once on a scan. The whole thing is crazy. It took almost an hour to do … Some shenanigans are going on and they’re going to, one way or another, steal this election. I’ve never seen such craziness. I got in touch with the Board of Elections and they were unconcerned and could not help me. By the end of the day it’ll probably turn out that it’s another situation like in Florida with the Bush vote.

Phyllis attempted to cast her vote before 10:00 a.m., but, after waiting an hour, got fed up and went to work. She said she’ll try again later. Her husband tried an hour later, filling out an affidavit (the paper ballot). His visit took an hour, and after doing the paper ballot the poll workers found the books and allowed him to vote again electronically. He was told all duplicate paper ballots would be tossed.

But that’s not the story one poll worker is telling at the scene. When we arrived at 1:00 p.m., there were no lines and everything seemed to be running smoothly. The man who appeared to be in charge told us that any allegations of misconduct or ineptitude were exaggerated.

According to the poll worker, who asked not to be named, they couldn’t find two voter books when polls opened at 6:00 a.m., so they requested people to use affidavits – and that’s where the confusion comes from.

“People don’t like affidavits, but we didn’t lose any voters over it,” he said. “Everyone wants everything to run very smoothly. It didn’t run smoothly [today], but everything’s accounted for.”

The poll worker said there was no way voters cast more than one ballot, or that they did paper and then electronic, saying they would’ve been turned away since workers would already have their signature on record.

“Once he signs his affidavit, he’s gone,” he said. “Besides, why would they want to stay after waiting in line the whole time?”

“We know we didn’t lose any voters for it,” said the worker, contrary to Phyllis, our reader who went this morning and gave up after waiting more than an hour.

However, another poll worker who asked to remain anonymous said the scene today was “crazy,” and rolled his eyes when I asked how long people were waiting.

Another Manhattan Beach resident cast his vote early this morning, and confirmed that the scene was chaotic – though not as bad as he heard it was later in the day.

“It seemed a bit confusing,” said Ed Eisenberg. “It took them a little while to get organized, but they’re okay now.

UPDATE (2:34 p.m.): Just minutes ago, we received a call back from Phyllis who made her second attempt at voting. She said things were much calmer now, and that Board of Elections officials had swooped down in the last hour or two to more closely oversee the situation and address allegations of impropriety. Phyllis added that she checked the books for her husband’s signature – who she said voted twice (paper and electronic) this morning – but that his signature was not in the book, suggesting neither one of his two votes may be counted.

Have you experienced any misconduct or mistakes at your poll station? Let us know in the comments!

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