Wendy Long, a Republican U.S. Senate candidate from New York, said Tuesday that a poll worker told her to vote Democratic all the way down her ballot.
Long, who is trying to unseat Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, said in a statement that when she went to vote Tuesday morning, “a poll worker who was at the scanner, studied my private ballot and proceeded to tell me that it was rejected because I did not ‘fill in every space.’ She then proceeded to indicate that I should mark the Democratic line all the way down.”
“The poll worker said, ‘you have to fill in all of THESE, all the way down,’ indicating the whole line at the far left of the ballot, saying ‘you can’t leave any blank,'” Long added. “I said, ‘I’m sorry, but that just can’t be the case … that would force me to vote for people I don’t want to vote for.’ She insisted again, that every office had to be filled out or the ballot would be rejected. And I said again, ‘I don’t want to vote for those people!'”
Next, Long said she “protested again and said that I wanted to feed my ballot into the scanner as I had filled it out.”
With that, Long said, the poll worked “eventually relented saying ‘well you can TRY it’ — meaning she would allow me to put it in the scanner.”
“It obviously worked,” Long said of what happened when she put her ballot through the scanner.
She went on to “urge all voters to know your rights when you vote.”
“You can ask for help in how to operate the scanner, but your ballot is private and cannot and should not be inspected,” she said. “You do not have to vote in every office, or fill in every oval. Vote only for the candidates whom YOU want to vote for.”
“Finally, question authority — poll workers are there to help you to vote, not to tell you how vote,” Long added.
“If one crosses the line, contact the Attorney General’s Office or your local Board of Elections.”