|Esapda outside of a polling station at PS 57 in Crotona (Photo by Jeanmarie Evelly)|
Sen. Pedro Espada, Jr., pictured above, was making the rounds today, visiting the polls in his 33rd Senate District. He was spotted outside of PS 57 Crescent School, on Crotona Avenue, flacked by a group of staffers and looking dapper in a navy blue suit, pale yellow tie and matching pocket handkerchief.
The Senator, who cast his own vote this morning at PS 8 in Bedford Park, said he was visiting various polling sites to make sure things were going smoothly with the state's new voting machines, which use paper ballots and a scanner instead of the traditional lever system.
"We've seen some significant problems," Espada said, saying he heard some polls were late getting open in time for their 6 a.m. deadline, and that some voters were confused with the new system. "I don't think it will affect the outcome, but there's always a concern of disenfranchising voters."
Espada went on to say that he was feeling confident about a victory in today's election, and then criticized his rival, Gutavo Rivera, for running a negative campaign that he thinks will make people less likely to vote.
"What we need is more outreach and less negative campaigning," he said. "[Rivera's] camp totally dwelled on the negative, and that has the effect of reducing voter turnout."
(For the record, there have been a number of negative mailers circulating that blast Rivera--you can see a few of them here--though Espada's campaign denies having sent them).
Espada then got into a dark blue Cadillac Escalade and drove away. He and his supporters are hosting a "celebration event" tonight at the Luna Lounge, at 1832 Webster Ave. We'll have more on that later.