A steady flow of lunch hour voters cast their ballots at the Lower Manhattan Community Middle School polling place at 81 New Street in the Financial District on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 8.
Public ballot counters at the site tallied 709 ballots across four scanning machines as of 1:22 p.m., and with anticipated high turnout in this election cycle this is a mere fraction of the number of ballots being cast today.
One poll worker noted that turnout is traditionally heavier before and after regular working hours, with an uptick during the noon lunch hour.
“Voting was so easy,” said college student Sarah Veurink, who voted at a polling site in the East Village. “It was my first time voting in person, so I was a little nervous about the logistics of it all, but everyone was so helpful and made the process straightforward.”
“I’ve voted here for years,” said another voter at a polling place in downtown Brooklyn who wished to remain anonymous. “There’s hardly any wait time, it’s a pretty efficient system with hardly any mess-ups – well, except for the ballot instructions this time. The instructions at the top of the ballot say to fill in the oval to the left of the candidate’s name, but on the ballot itself the oval is above the names. I figured it out just fine though.”
Covid-19 precautions for the NYC Board of Elections request a mask/face covering and maintaining 6 feet of distance when entering any Board of Elections facility. However, this does not apply to voters at polling places – they are encouraged, but not required, to wear a face covering.
“What I liked is that I’m seeing more people that are helping at the polls, it’s a wide range of ages and diversity,” said the anonymous Brooklyn voter. “I appreciate that, and I feel like they really care, they’re just very dedicated.”
“I feel so proud walking around and seeing everyone with their ‘I Voted’ stickers on,” Veurink said. “It’s so nice to see Americans showing up for each other.”
Polling places across the five boroughs are open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. and voters can find the polling place nearest them at the official Vote NYC website. Once a voter arrives at the designated address, entrances are clearly marked with temporary signs and arrow stickers on the nearby sidewalks.
In-person and absentee ballots are both being accepted today, with in-person ballots filled out at designated booths on-site and absentee ballots dropped off in marked boxes monitored by poll workers.