|Last Tuesday's voting went smoothly in most parts of the city, but there were flaws.
The newly-relocated polling place at the Parkview Assisted Living Center, 100 Valley Ave., was hard to find for some voters who were used to casting their ballots at the same precinct when it was located on Case Avenue.
Although the Parkview has become a familiar site, the address at 100 Valley Ave.--and even the street--doesn't show up on any Internet or electronic or even recently-printed city maps. That's because there was no Valley Avenue at that location a year ago; it was Junipero Street, which the roadway is still named on the east side of Sunol Boulevard. When Valley was extended from the Fairgrounds through the Bernal property and finally under the Union Pacific railroad tracks to Case and Sunol Boulevard last year, the name went with it.
Matthew Disabatino called the Weekly to report that it took him an hour and a half this morning to find his polling place at 100 Valley.
"I checked Yahoo maps and Google maps and both didn't recognize the address," he said.
After a stop at the City Clerk's office, he said workers there didn't know where the polling location was. A woman who answered the phone at the city clerk's office said they had received a number of phone calls regarding that precinct, and office workers are now informing callers of the site's exact location.
Disabatino also complained to the City Council Tuesday night, where city staff said the newly extended Valley Avenue would show up on all new maps now being prepared and soon would be on Internet and GPS maps.
Laura Wu of Ruby Hill also complained about unsolicited absentee ballots she and other voters received from the Alameda County Registrar's office. She didn't pay any attention to hers since she hadn't asked for an absentee ballot and prefers voting in person on Election Day.
But when she got to her polling place at the Ruby Hill Fire Station on Vineyard Avenue, she was stopped from voting since the precinct records showed she had an absentee ballot still outstanding. Only after spending a half-hour filling out a blue Provisional ballot was she allowed to cast her vote.
"I saw many others doing the same thing," Wu said. "What bothers me even more is that the precinct workers said they had heard it could take a month or longer to count the provisional ballots. I'm wondering if they ever will."
Some precincts said about a fourth of their voters used the Provisional ballots, either because they had not used the absentee ballots they were sent, or wanted to change their "Decline to State" registration status and vote in the Democratic Party primary. The Republican Party primary was closed to anyone but registered Republicans.
- Janet Pelletier and Jeb Bing
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