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A cat, a jacket and a jammed ballot makes voting a headache for NYC Republican mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa

NYC Republican mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa holds his four-week-old cat, Gizmo while he and his wife, Nancy speak with reporters while prior to voting at Frank McCourt High School in Manhattan, NY on Tuesday, Nov. 2. Photo By Julia Bonavita

NYC Republican mayoral hopeful Curtis Sliwa had a tough start to election day.

He  arrived at the Frank McCourt High School in the Upper West Side to vote with his wife, Nancy and four-week-old rescue cat, Gizmo , one of 17 rescue animals he owns. But the kitten was not a welcome sight to elections workers who refused to let Sliwa take Gizmo to witness his big  moment.

And it went downhill from there.

After handing Gizmo to campaign aide, election workers  asked him to remove his “Curtis Sliwa for NYC Mayor” jacket stating it was considered electioneering, but he refused to take it off and instead challenged them to arrest him, which they did not.

“So one hour and 20 minutes, we’re being told first we couldn’t have Gizmo,” said Sliwa. “And obviously the garb. We wore this garb last Saturday when Nancy voted, no problems, we were in and out.”

Next he had problems casting his vote.

After Sliwa inserted the first page of his ballot, the voting machine jammed and an error message stating the ballot had been counted, but not deposited appeared. Repairmen spent over one hour restoring the machine and Sliwa’s ballot was successfully counted.

“You see the incompetence and the inefficiency, and if it was just directed at me I could understand,” said Sliwa. “I’ll be going to polling locations all day until the final tally at nine, and I will hear stories from Democrats, Independents and Republicans that their name wasn’t in the book even though they voted in the presidential election. They were told to go to another polling location and then were shuttled around, or their ballot was not properly received by the scanner.”

NYC Republican mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa speaks with members of the press with his four-week-old rescue kitten, Gizmo, outside Frank McCourt High School in Manhattan, NY on Tuesday, Nov. 2. Sliwa was barred from entering the polling location with Gizmo due to election site rules.Photo By Julia Bonavita

NYC Republican mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa’s wife, Nancy adjusts his mask before entering Frank McCourt High School in Manhattan, NY on Tuesday, Nov. 2. Photo By Julia Bonavita

The media and onlookers surround NYC Republican mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa’s wife and his wife  Nancy  as he prepares to vote at Frank McCourt High School in Manhattan, NY on Tuesday, Nov. 2. Photo By Julia Bonavita

NYC Republican mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa was asked to remove his “Curtis Sliwa for NYC Mayor” jacket while inside Frank McCourt High School on the grounds of electioneering in Manhattan, NY on Tuesday, Nov. 2.
Photo By Julia Bonavita

NYC Republican mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa fills out his ballot with his wife, Nancy at Frank McCourt High School in Manhattan, NY on Tuesday, Nov. 2. Photo By Julia Bonavita

An error message is displayed on the voting machine Sliwa used to cast his ballot at Frank McCourt High School in Manhattan, NY on Tuesday, Nov. 2. The machine became jammed before Sliwa could submit the second page of his ballot, stating the ballot had been counted but not deposited.
Photo By Julia Bonavita

New York City Commissions of Elections President Fred Umane addresses reporters after Republican mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa ran into multiple issues while trying to vote at Frank McCourt High School in Manhattan, NY on Tuesday, Nov. 2.

A mechanic from the NYC Board of Elections repairs a voting machine after technical issues failed to clear Sliwa’s ballot. Photo By Julia Bonavita

NYC Republican mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa inserts the first page of his ballot into the polling machine at Frank McCourt High School in Manhattan, NY on Tuesday, Nov. 2. The machine counted, but failed to deposit, Sliwa’s ballot due to mechanical issues and took over an hour to recover.
Photo By Julia Bonavita

NYC Republican mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa and his wife, Nancy address reporters after voting at Frank McCourt High School in Manhattan, NY on Tuesday, Nov. 2.Photo By Julia Bonavita