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Tempers Flare at Marlborough Gardens Polling Place

An overcrowded voting space and long waiting lines made for an occasionally hostile environment Tuesday.

 

The atmosphere of the Marlborough Gardens polling place at 386 Marlborough Rd. was summed up nicely by Coordinator Inez Holmes: "Chaos."

As was the case with many polling sites, voters often waited outside site for more than an hour, snaking around and down the block. 

"They really need someone going up and down the line calling districts," said Ditmas Parker Karen Taylor, who noted there are five districts voting in Marlborough Gardens. "Some tables will sit there without people for a while." 

Marvin Abram, a resident of Argyle Road, said he waited outside for an hour and a half. "It only took about 10 minutes once inside."

Once inside, conditions were not much better.

"It's so small," Holmes said of the voting space. "All the things the Board of Elections needs to put out can't be put out because it's so small." 

"Workers were insensitive, agitated and aggravated," Abram said, adding that many voters could be heard asking specific questions that poll workers couldn't answer. "I don't know how well they're trained," he said.  

But poll workers were not the only ones letting their tempers get the best of them. Loud yelling could be heard coming from inside the voting space at approximately 2 p.m., as two voters argued over who was next in line. 

"Did you hear those two disrespectful voters?" Holmes said. "This is my last year doing this. I'm no spring chicken; I'm 76 years old."

One voter leaving the polling site agreed with Holmes, saying "It was a horrible experience. People are getting raucous over [someone] skipping the line. People are getting disgusting."

Holmes said she and other poll workers looked for the police officer assigned to the polling site to maintain order, but since she was unable to find the officer, Holmes spoke to the voters. "There are kids in there," she said. "I told them to show some respect."

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