Brooklyn Boro

Brooklyn voter turnout highest of all New York City boroughs

Brooklyn turnout could make a difference in tight race between Hochul and Zeldin

November 8, 2022 Mary Frost
The ability to register at the poll on Election Day boosted new-voter turnout. AP Photo/Mike Groll
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While final election results are not yet in, turnout for the midterm election was strong and steady in Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill and Downtown Brooklyn by midday on Tuesday.

The polling site at 101 Clark St. in Brooklyn Heights was busy all morning, a poll worker told the Brooklyn Eagle. “It’s like a presidential election,” she said. Roughly 450 votes were registered on the two machines by about 12:30 p.m.

The site at 10 Clinton St. was also unusually busy, election staff said. Since the ground-floor location has little interior space, voters had to queue outside. At times, the line wrapped around the corner of the exterior construction, one of the poll workers said. “We have been surprised by the turnout,” he told the Eagle.  

At the large Brooklyn Borough Hall polling station, things were calmer. “We have had a steady flow” of voters all day,” the poll worker said. “There have been a few internal lines, but mostly a steady flow.”

Things were jumping at P.S. 29 in Cobble Hill at around 1:45 p.m. “People have been waiting on line for 45 minutes,” a harried poll worker said. Adding to the confusion was a move by the Board of Elections to split up District 52 polling places, she told the Eagle. “They didn’t tell us in advance,” she said, adding, “I’ve been going since 5 this morning.”

She instructed voters to scan a code with their cell phones to find their correct polling place, to avoid wasting their time standing on the wrong line.

Things were more mellow in Downtown Brooklyn. There was a “steady flow of voters” at The Urban Assembly Institute of Math and Science for Young Women on Adams Street, a poll worker told the Eagle at 2:15 pm. The worker said the school is also used as an early voting site, so many of the District 52 voters assigned there may have already voted, easing the Election Day rush.

One result of remote and hybrid work is a “big increase in mid-day voting,” Comptroller Brad Lander, said on Twitter. During a shift he did outside the Brooklyn New School in Carroll Gardens, hundreds of voters turned up mid-day. “Pre-pandemic there would likely have been just a trickle of voters” at that time, he said.

High Brooklyn turnout

The margin is so slim, the entire race between Gov. Kathy Hochul and Rep. Lee Zeldin could come down to how many people vote in Brooklyn, former President Bill Clinton said at a high-energy rally for Hochul at City Point in Downtown Brooklyn on Saturday. 

The NYC Board of Elections tweeted that Brooklyn turnout was 451,422 by 6 p.m. — the largest turnout of all the boroughs. (By 6 p.m. Manhattan had registered 358,029; Queens had 338,321; the Bronx had 158,225 and Staten Island had 112,668 voter check-ins.) Of these, 135,239 represented early voting. This number did not include the after-work rush expected between the hours of 6 to 9 p.m. By comparison, the final turnout in Brooklyn in 2018 was 645,096. 

While voters were hitting the polls, Democratic officials — including Hochul, Sen. Andrew Gounardes, Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso, Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon, NY-10 Congressional candidate Daniel Goldman and others made a last minute stop at Albee Square in Downtown Brooklyn to get out the vote — before making a quick hot dog run at Fulton Hot Dog King.

The governor and other officials criss-crossed the city, hitting Fort Greene, the Lower East Side and Park Slope by late in the afternoon, joined by Rep. Nydia Velazquez and Attorney General Letitia James.

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