The DNAinfo archives brought to you by WNYC.
Read the press release here.

Voters Say Ballots Pre-Filled for Clinton, Democrats at Sites Across Queens

By Katie Honan | November 8, 2016 5:46pm | Updated on November 8, 2016 6:34pm
 A voting sign in multiple languages outside a polling location in Woodside, Queens, on Nov. 8, 2016.
A voting sign in multiple languages outside a polling location in Woodside, Queens, on Nov. 8, 2016.
View Full Caption
DNAinfo/Katie Honan

WOODHAVEN — Voters claimed they received ballots at their Queens poll sites Tuesday that were pre-filled for the Democratic candidates, prompting allegations of voter intimidation on the part of poll workers.

Marcos Pichardo, a sergeant at the 106th Precinct in Ozone Park, said the ballot he was handed at P.S. 306 in Woodhaven this morning already had the bubbles filled in.

"I opened it up and it was filled out" for the Democratic line, he said.

Poll workers told him it was a "mistake," voided the ballot and handed him a new one — but didn't explain what happened, he said. 

"They didn't say how it got filled out," he said, declining to say who he planned to vote for in the presidential election.

Another voter, Eileen McManus, said a woman on line in front of her at 102-00 Shore Front Parkway in Rockaway Beach was handed a ballot that was already filled out for the Democrats this morning at around 11 a.m. 

"She went to the privacy booth, realized it was filled out and went back," the Donald Trump supporter said.

The workers didn't know what to do, so McManus told them it had to be voided. After waiting around for a new ballot, the woman eventually left, McManus said. 

"They should know what to do," she said.

A campaign manager for Mike O'Reilly, a Republican running for Congress in southern Queens, said her office received multiple calls throughout the day from people saying they received pre-filled ballots. 

The campaign manager, Maureen Daly, said a desk sergeant at the 106th Precinct — not Pichardo — also confirmed they had been "flooded with calls and complaints in regards to pre-filled out ballots in favor of Hillary [Clinton]." 

The NYPD referred all questions regarding voter fraud allegations to the Board of Elections, which did not respond to an email or a phone call seeking comment.

Daly said Board of Elections employees throughout Queens were telling voters to cast their ballots for Clinton, alleging voter intimidation.

"In addition to all of this, at at least 10 different poll sites across Queens County we have poll watchers that have confirmed and will testify that election workers, when asked how to vote the ballot, are instructed to vote straight down the Democrat line," she said in an email.

Advocates on either side of this year's controversial election feared suppression of votes and fraud this year, with some advocacy groups going out to immigrant neighborhoods throughout Queens to watch for issues.

Common Cause NY, an open government advocacy group, sent poll watchers to immigrant neighborhoods including Jackson Heights and Flushing.

With New York City's diversity, "some individuals or extreme groups could take this encouragement as an invitation" for intimidation, according to Susan Lerner, the group's executive director.

She said Tuesday evening, though, that they hadn't received any complaints about pre-filled ballots today. They also had around 200 poll watchers across the city who didn't see issues, either, she said.