Thousands of Americans lined up at the voting stations to cast their votes as it opened to accommodate voters who opt to cast their ballots in person.
As the first day of early voting for election 2020 opened up, New Yorkers woke up early and spent hours in the queuing lines to cast their votes. Thousands of people were spotted patiently waiting at different locations all over the city and state. People can be seen wearing face masks and practicing social distancing as they either stood in line or sat in folding chairs, which were brought by them in anticipation of the long waits.
Today, October 25, marks the first day that New Yorkers were allowed to cast early votes.
The polls do not open until 10 am in New York. However, there were a lot of people spotted getting in line hours before the voting opens. For instance, in Manhattan, a voter named Ellen told New York Post that she arrived in Madison Square Garden, a polling station, at 7 am today.
The voter stated that the reason why they arrived at the polling station early because they want to vote, and they do not want to deal with any hassle, drama, or anybody that might prevent people from voting. She further made a remark saying that they wanted to be safe.
According to election officials, they expect 60,000 voters who would arrive at the Madison Square Garden, a polling location used for the first time.
This voting station is just one of the 88 voting sites that allow early voting in New York City. There is an estimated number of 3.3 Million people that are expected to vote in the city this year.
Cecilia, a Staten Island voter arrived two hours before the polling station opened at a local church. She said that it is “more convenient” for her to cast her votes early because this will mean he will not have to take a leave from work to vote on the election day, which is set on November 3.
She further stated that she arrived early because she doesn’t wants to be standing in line so close to people.
Meanwhile, social media users posted images of the long lines for the polling station in Manhattan’s Upper West Side. The line extends at least three blocks away from the voting locations and as well as in various locations all over Brooklyn and on the Long Island.
Foot-operated hand sanitizing locations
In order to keep the voters safe while voting inside the polling locations, the Board of Elections placed foot-operated hand sanitizing areas. They also added social distancing markers on the floor and distributed stylus pens that the voters will take with them for marking their ballots.
The long lines that are seen through New York City are also observed in other cities all over the country last Saturday, despite having some voting stations being open for early voting days beforehand.
In Ohio, the line wrapped around the block at the Board of Election Building in downtown Cleveland, Ohio. Although the early voting began on October 6, it was Cuyahoga County’s first day of weekend hours of having in-person voting stations. Police officers had to redirect the line to nearby streets after it extended from the voting station to a highway off-ramp.