The Mast-Head: Score One for Putin

My first instinct doubt about the validity of the election

I only realized later what had happened. On my way to drop Ellis off at second grade, I decided to stop quickly to vote. Election District 12, where I was registered, never has all that much of a line, so I figured we would be in and out of the Amagansett Firehouse quickly.

At the E.D. 12 table, however, I was told that my name did not appear on the roll. I could fill out an affidavit ballot instead, if I wanted. My immediate thought was that the Russians were messing around in United States election databases and had penetrated the Suffolk County Board of Elections. I mentioned this to one of the poll watchers. “Maybe so,” he said.

We are living through an odd time, with my first instinct doubt about the validity of the election. Score one, Vladimir Putin, I guess. 

At the table where I filled out my affidavit, another poll worker said there had been about five people already that morning with some kind of registration snag. I began to feel nervous. Could something really be happening here? 

A third poll worker tried to look me up on the New York State Board of Elections website. Nothing. He looked himself up. Nothing. He looked alarmed. The second poll worker announced that they probably should phone someone. 

After all of this, Ellis was a half-hour late, though with his “I voted” sticker on his down vest, he was happy enough. 

At work, I had a look online at my registration details, which I found associated with my work address instead of my home address. Having been booted from my box by the Amagansett postmaster this summer for not picking up my mail frequently enough, something to that effect must have been sent to the board of elections, and someone there decided I had moved and made the change unbidden. 

Rather than head back to Amagansett and try to withdraw my affidavit ballot, and then vote in East Hampton while later correcting my registration to show the accurate address, I opted to let things be. I just hope that my lonely ballot, stuffed in its sealed envelope, gets counted. 

At the very least, Ellis got his sticker.