Greenfield: Seniors Can’t Read New Ballots


Senior citizens are complaining that paper ballots designed by New York’s Board of Elections are too small to read, says City Councilman David Greenfield.

New York state switched this year from antiquated voting machines to ballots that are filled out and then scanned and recorded by computer.

Since candidates for local judgeships, Assembly and Senate, Congress and four statewide offices are included on one sheet, as well as a ballot proposal on term limits, the type may be too small for those who are visually impaired.

“The Board of Elections should have known that this would be a problem,” said Greenfield. “I have spoken with many exasperated seniors who are upset because they were unable to vote properly due to the tiny font used on today’s General Election ballot. Quite frankly, as a thirty-something-year-old City Councilman, even I had trouble reading the consistently tiny print on the ballot.”

“One poll worker told me that a senior was so frustrated with the ballot that she tore it in two and left in tears. That kind of disenfranchisement of our seniors is simply unacceptable.”

While magnification sheets are supposed to be on hand at all polling sites, Greenfield said they only boost the font at one-and-a-half times the original size.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has called on New Yorkers to report any voting problems by calling 311 or using the hashtag #NYCVOTES via Twitter.