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NYC expands early voting hours for this weekend after 300,000+ cast ballots | amNewYork

NYC expands early voting hours for this weekend after 300,000+ cast ballots

Early voting at the Sotomayor Houses in the Bronx on Oct. 25, 2020.
Photo by Todd Maisel

Truly a case of meeting popular demand, the New York City Board of Elections announced Tuesday that it will expand hours for the final three days of early voting this weekend.

During their Oct. 27 meeting, the board’s commissioners agreed to add nine additional hours to the early voting schedule between Friday, Oct. 30, and Sunday, Nov. 1. The decision came as a result of massive turnout at the city’s 88 early voting poll sites since Saturday, Oct. 24 — with more than 300,000 voters participating, many of whom having had to wait in very long lines.

Friday’s voting period, which was to run from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., will instead be extended by two hours in the afternoon, with early voting sites open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Saturday’s scheduled period, which was originally 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., will instead run from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. — with three additional morning voting hours and one extra hour in the afternoon.

Finally, the last day of early voting on Sunday, which was to be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., will instead be extended by three hours in the morning, from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Editor’s note: Nov. 1 is the end of daylight savings time; set your clocks back one hour at 2 a.m. Sunday morning).

There are no changes to voting hours for Wednesday, Oct. 28 (12 to 8 p.m.) or Thursday, Oct. 29 (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.). 

The polling hours for Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3, remain unchanged, with the more than 14,000 polling places in New York City open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Betsy Gotbaum, the city’s former public advocate and current executive director of Citizens Union, applauded the board for its decision. 

“Over the past three days, we’ve been inspired by the hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who flocked to poll sites to take advantage of early voting. Unfortunately, we also saw too many infuriating anecdotes about how voters had to wait on line for hours to cast their ballots. We must do better,” Gotbaum said. “We’re glad the Board of Elections has recognized the enthusiasm for early voting, and has increased hours at early voting locations.”

Much like regular polling sites, your early voting location is based on where you live. You can learn where to cast an early vote by using the “Find My Poll Site” tool on the Board of Elections website, vote.nyc. Plug in your home address and ZIP code on the Find My Poll Site application and you’ll be able to view your designated early voting site and the regular polling place open on Election Day.

Through the third day of early voting on Oct. 26, the Board of Elections tallied 314,723 check-ins — more than five times the number of early voters in the entire off-year November 2019 election cycle.

So far, Brooklyn has the most early voters with 101,283, followed by Manhattan with 69,805; Queens with 65,728; the Bronx with 46,575; and Staten Island with 31,332.

Visit vote.nyc for additional information on voting.

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