Ousting Trump on the minds of New Yorkers who surged early voting sites Sunday

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Voters stood out in the cold for up to an hour to cast their vote early on Sunday.
Photo by Mark Hallum

Day two of early voting in New York City saw strong turnouts continue with one thought on the minds of Manhattanites: restoring what they hope to be competency in the White House.

At Madison Square Garden on Sunday and JHS 56 in Chinatown, voters waited in lines for well over an hour despite having seven more days to arrive at polls and cast their vote for either President Donald Trump or former Vice President Joe Biden.

“In my brain, there’s only one issue and it’s getting rid of Trump,” one woman said on the steps leading out to Seventh Avenue.

Voters formed several lines entering the events arena with some telling amNewYork Metro that the process went off without a hitch, compared to previous years in which Board of Elections machines often suffered malfunctions and low turnout meant New Yorkers were less involved in elections.

Similar experiences for voters in Chinatown told of fluidity in the polling process and eagerness of voters to put an effective leader in office, no matter what that meant to them personally. 

“It was super smooth, less than an hour and we started at the corner on the other side of the building. It took less than an hour, 55 minutes… I’m considering what happened during the primaries, this is very impressive,” said David Weiner, an area resident voting at JHS 56. “We’re deciding between democracy and authoritarianism.”

The June 23 primaries were especially hectic for not only Board of Elections staff who had to sort through tens of thousands of absentee ballots, but also for voters who discovered their ballot may have been discarded due a variety of errors on their part, or late and missing postmarks; the fault of the U.S. Postal Service.

In Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney’s district alone, it was found that one-in-five voters did not get their say in the presidential primary, but also in state elections.

Waiting outside on brisk day was no big deal for Mysh Brownell who said the long lines were worth the wait.

“It was challenging because it was a bit chilly, but you have to do your part,” In terms of the direction of our country, but also our local representatives, but given it’s New York and it’s mostly Democratic, you don’t really have many options because mostly in the primaries you have to accept who the party presents.”

Tina Schiller explained that the line wrapping JHS 56 in Chinatown was nothing compared to the experience of her sister in Suffolk County who had waited up to six hours to vote on Saturday.

“I just wanted to get in there and vote early. You think about it, an hour and twenty minutes in queue isn’t bad at all, I’d have to say,” Aiden Flanagan said.

Early voting will continue for the general elections through Nov. 1 before polls ultimately open again on Election Day, Nov. 3.