NEW YORK - In the first presidential election in which early voting is available in New York state, about 1 million New Yorkers have already cast their ballots through Tuesday, elections officials said.
Voters around the state, especially in New York City, have had to wait up to several hours to cast their ballots since early voting began on Saturday. The long lines have prompted criticism of state and city elections officials.
Michele Bianculli spent about 2 1/2 hours on Sunday waiting in line and submitting her ballot at the Brooklyn Museum.
"Everyone was masked and mostly distanced," Bianculli, 43, told FOX 5 NY. "I liked that the poll workers printed the ballot when I checked in, so it wasn't among a stack being touched."
As for the long wait, she said the BOE should have either opened more polling places or had longer hours.
"Also it would be nice if they had markers like at amusement parks," Bianculli said, "'From this point, your wait is approximately X minutes.'"
In response to the long wait times, the New York City Board of Elections said it will extend voting hours for the final three days (Friday through Sunday) of early voting. The new hours in New York City are:
- Friday, Oct. 30, 7 a.m.–5 p.m.
- Saturday, Oct. 31, 7 a.m.–5 p.m.
- Sunday, Nov. 1, 7 a.m.–4 p.m.
Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 3. Polls across the state will be open 6 a.m–9 p.m. (Story continues)
This year due to COVID-19, all registered voters also have the option of voting via absentee ballot. You can potentially avoid the long lines by either mailing or dropping off your absentee ballot—although mailing it is not advised this close to Election Day. Instead, you can submit your absentee ballot at:
- Your county's board of elections office no later than Nov. 3 by 9 p.m.
- An early voting poll site through Nov. 1. (Does not have to be your designated poll site.)
- An Election Day poll site on Nov. 3 by 9 p.m. (Does not have to be your designated poll site.)
New York City voters can track the progress of their absentee ballot.
With The Associated Press