Southern Brooklyn

Crowds turn out for first weekend of early voting

October 27, 2020 Jaime DeJesus
Crowds turn out for first weekend of early voting
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It was a historic voting weekend for New York City, especially in Brooklyn.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, early voting began in the city on Saturday, Oct. 24, with some impressive turnout numbers.

According to the New York City Board of Elections, 93,830 votes were cast on Saturday and Brooklyn led the way by far with a 29,411 voter check-in.

The following day, Brooklyn votes went up to 61,315 total.

Southern Brooklynites discussed their experiences throughout the weekend. Some waited on line for only 20 minutes, but others waited nearly two hours.

“Really long line at St. Dominick’s [2001 Bay Ridge Pkwy.] but moving pretty fast,” said local resident Joelle. “Still have a ways to go though. We are still down around the corner and the line stretches behind us too.”

The line outside St. Dominic’s Church. Photo courtesy of twtter.com/AJPrincipato

She said later that it took her an hour to finally vote.

“We got there a little after the polls opened,” she told this paper. “Definitely the longest it has ever taken to vote.”

Nicole Sanchez went to vote Sunday at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, 526 59th St.

“OLPH line goes down 59th, down Sixth Avenue and is currently on 60th almost back at Fifth Avenue,” she said. “Ended up waiting for 1 hour, 20 minutes in total. Worth every second.”

The line outside Our Lady of Perpetual Help. Photo courtesy of Nicole Sanchez

Others experienced shorter wait times.

“Just dropped my early ballot at a drop box in #BayRidge,” said a voter who was at Fort Hamilton High School. “Line was bonkers. Never have I felt this level of privilege.”

“Fort Hamilton was a breeze,” said another. “The poll workers were wonderful. I waited 15 minutes and I’m done.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday that the Board of Elections must do a better job of allowing people to vote in a convenient manner.

“We need this to be a better experience,” de Blasio said. “Long lines tell people to go home – that’s just the reality. Long lines at a poll site discourage voting, they don’t encourage it. And we’ve worked so hard over these last years to make voting and make the democratic process better, to make it more accessible, to make it clearer.”


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