November 4th, 2008
05:50 PM ET
6 years ago

Actor waged 5-hour battle to cast vote

Robbins' name was missing from rolls.
Robbins' name was missing from rolls.

NEW YORK (CNN) - When Academy Award-winning actor Tim Robbins showed up at his West 14th Street YMCA polling center in Manhattan to vote Tuesday morning, election officials told him that his name was missing from the register.

"I went to vote where I normally vote and I was not listed. I asked for an explanation; they had none," Robbins told CNN.

He said he has been voting in the same district since 1992. He has not missed one election, and has not changed addresses or political affiliations.

"The poll worker said my name was in the book for the primary two months ago, but missing for the general election," he told CNN.

Although Robbins was offered the opportunity to fill out a provisional ballot, he was set on using the voting machine instead.

"Refuse provisional ballots - they're throwing those out, they can throw those out," he told viewers of "Real Time With Bill Maher" last month.

"If that's your last resort, take it, but fight for your right to vote," he said. "It's your right as an American."

It took Robbins a total of five hours - and a judge's order - to do so today.

"I'm just waiting for an explanation. I want a real explanation, and I want that explanation for the hundreds and thousands of people in my district and throughout the city who are experiencing the same thing today," Robbins told CNN.

A New York City Board of Elections representative did not return CNN's calls.

Polling places nationwide have seen heavy turnout - and accompanying delays and glitches - for the presidential race between Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama.


Filed under: New York • Voter Problems
soundoff (249 Responses)
  1. turn az blue

    you go Tim! way to fight!

    November 4, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  2. Linda32

    Imagine those that do not have a voice and knowledge to fight this!

    November 4, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  3. JACKED-UP-POLITICS, FLORIDA

    Good for him to stand his grounds because I had the same mentality prior to going to the polls but fortunately I did not have any problems

    November 4, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  4. Stud

    Most likely, the Repuglican party are up to their dirty tricks again.

    November 4, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  5. Barbara in NC

    McCain/Palin are spreading lies even now.

    Do you people really want two more liars and power-abusers in the WH?

    Obama/Biden '08

    November 4, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  6. Caligirl

    I'm in California and have not gone to vote yet. I sure hope my name is on the local register has it has been for many years.

    November 4, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  7. Lyndon,CA

    Shame on the City of New York and the State of New York.

    November 4, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  8. Redneck from Kentucky

    The republicans are pulling their usual dirty tricks to try to steal the election. Look at the calls going out to Florida latinos saying Fidel Castro just endorsed Obama and telling them to immediately go vote for Obama. The Republican Party needs to go away or be charged as a criminal enterprise for their dirty tactics.

    November 4, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  9. Kim

    Good for Tim Robbins!

    November 4, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  10. cheryl

    Republicans are not going to steal this election.

    November 4, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  11. Michael in Houston

    It's a darn shame that a celebrity has to scream about this injustice for anyone to really listen. Funny thing though, it only appears to be happening in prodominately Democrat areas? HMMM

    November 4, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  12. Prophecy is Fullfilled.

    Never doubt the Bible again… It is really happening here and now:

    .. “And in the land shall rise the son of Cain.” From the north The Deceiver[Palin], a known Beast of false witness; will take the mark of Cain.
    Together they seek to spread fear and invoke hate among the refugees of sin.
    In their quest for power they will ignore the light of truth shining on the deeds and words they proclaim.
    But take heart, for throughout the land the seekers of light shall rise up and not be fooled. With their strength, the mark [Cain] will be cleansed from the earth and no longer hold power to sway the blind.

    Can I get an amen…? :)

    November 4, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  13. ch

    Him and his wife are pretty much the scum of the earth.

    Not because of their politics but because they are rude, haggard, old, obnoxious has -beens who just refuse to go away.

    November 4, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  14. Barbara in NC

    Ha ha h;a ha ha

    The republicans are wasting money on negative ads after everyone has voted or has left for the voting station. DUH !!!!!

    Can you think of a better waste of taxpayers' dollars? That's how they are funded. WITH YOUR MONEY.

    Obama/Biden '08

    November 4, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  15. Peter (CA)

    Amazing. A guy who has consistently voted in the same place for years being denied. Lucky for him, he had the clout and resources to get the situation fixed.

    This goes to show what a horrid situation we have in this country when it comes to voting. It looks like third world countries do a better job. You would think after the debacle of 2000, someone would have addressed this.

    It's a bipartisan issue. They both, obviously, are unable to come up with a solution.

    November 4, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  16. former gop

    Outspoken liberal Tim Robbin's name missing is not a coincidence. There needs to be an investigation and somebody needs to go to jail.

    November 4, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  17. Michelle in Cincinnati

    too bad the common man can't afford Tim lawyer who helped him get the judge's order.

    November 4, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  18. Norm

    Everyone is well aware of the vast Right-Wing Conspiracy's secret headquarters being located in New York City, right?

    November 4, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  19. Marc PDX

    Wow, Tim, how heroic of you! Almost like a common person! Thank you so much!

    November 4, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  20. Marylou South Carolina

    well, at least it happened to someone that can get to the bottom of this mess, hopefully. I think they purged the wrong guy.

    November 4, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  21. Concerned GA voter

    Turly ridiculous. If this can happen to Tim Robbins, what hope do the rest of us have!!!!! Glad he insited on his right to vote, but some won't have the time to do this if they get challenged later on this evening.

    We've got to fix this antiquated voting process we have here in what is supposed to be the most modern place on earth!!!!

    I just pray that this election will not get stolen this evening, don't think this country is ready for that again, and this time it will probably be really, really, ugly!!!!!

    Obama/Biden '08

    November 4, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  22. Jennifer G

    Good for you Tim! My husband had the same problem, but didn't have 5 hours...but when I got there I took my paperwork with me and insisted they find my name–they did! And the election workers got an EARFUL from me on how important it is to be thorough and find the names, even if they have to look in a different book. My husband was none to happy to be filling out a provisional ballot & said he never will again! Every citizen MUST fight for their right for their vote to be counted! Thanks for being such a powerful example Tim!

    November 4, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  23. Phiasko

    I saw Robbins on that episode of "Real Time" and he was adamant about provisional ballots. Is it just coincidence that his name was mysteriously scrubbed? And what if he were not an Academy-Award winning actor? Would "Joe Six-Pack" have had this problem resolved in only five hours, or gotten a judge's decision in such a short amount of time. In a way, I'm glad this happened to Robbins because he actually has the mojo to pursue the issue and get to the bottom of what happened.

    November 4, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  24. B

    Another Hollywood Blowhard. Yes, Tim Robbins was targeted by the RNC. Shhh, don't tell anyone.

    November 4, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  25. Peter of Oregon

    This is the best article I've read today.

    November 4, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
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