After last weekend when New Yorkers overflowed to participate in the 2020 Elections when 88 early voting centers were opened in the five counties of the Big Apple, this Monday neither bad weather nor a process defined by slowness Due to the pandemic, it discouraged thousands of citizens from going to the polls.
The Dominican Carmen Evangelista, 67, got up early. Like thousands of residents of her neighborhood in Washington Heights, in Upper Manhattan, she turned out to vote early in the Russ Berrie Center of Columbia University on St Nicholas Avenue.
At 9:00 AM the immigrant, who has lived in New York City for 47 years, was already in the row that went around the entire block between 167th and 168th streets from that town known as the small Dominican Republic. Already at 10:55 PM, Evangelista proudly showed her seal having done their duty.
“On the weekend my neighbors and relatives did have to wait more hours, but today everything flowed faster. In decades I had not seen the enthusiasm of our people to participate. Hispanics are waking up, because we know that our opinion can make a difference ”, said the islander.
“It would be a lot of laziness if we don’t vote”
Last Saturday amid growing complaints about the slowness of the process and a couple of skirmishes that disrupted the day, New Yorkers flocked to the voting centers amid stringent regulations to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, which it affects the fluidity of voters.
For his part, Puerto Rican Enrique Molina, 66 years old, commented that it would be “a lot of laziness” of those who have the option to participate in this election, to stay at home because they resisted standing in line, that this time it may be slower than normal.
“It is only once every four years. I am sure that the vote of us Latinos will be felt this year. We may not see the difference in the country, but our grandchildren do. I tried to vote on Saturday, but couldn’t. Today everything was faster and that is how they will be in the following days ”, estimated Molina.
Mayor offers resources to “expedite”
Near 190,000 people flooded the polling places over the weekend, according to unofficial figures from the city’s Electoral Board. A process that will run until next Sunday, November 1.
“We see that the people really took over democracy. We see unprecedented voter numbers. Nearly 200,000 New Yorkers voted in early voting on Saturday and Sunday. This is incredible!”, reacted Mayor Bill de Blasio.
The municipal president acknowledged that long lines could demotivate many, for which he urged that the necessary adjustments be made “at this crucial moment.”
The Mayor demanded “immediately” from the Board of Elections that increase the number of voting machines and make sure the staff is available so that everything goes faster
“This is a historic moment. More machines should be removed and hours extended. If the Electoral Board warns that it does not have financial resources, here New York City makes itself available to guarantee them, ”emphasized De Blasio.
Sources from the New York City Board of Elections (BOENYC) told The newspaper that it was predictable that the first day would generate problems, but that Already this Monday the process has been more efficient.
“We have an additional challenge, which is to guarantee everyone’s health, it is a new scenario, but New Yorkers are responding ”, assured.
In Downtown Queens and The Bronx where delays had been reported, between three and five hours, at the beginning of the early elections, the Electoral Board showed through its Twitter account examples of voters who in some centers they cast their vote this Monday in less than 50 minutes.
“I voted fast”
Also the Dominican Dominga Martínez, resident of Washington Heights, He shared that he managed to vote “very quickly” compared to his friends who came to the Columbia University polling place in Upper Manhattan in recent days.
“They told me that many took up to six hours, but in my case it did not last more than an hour. If we want to demand the authorities, we have to participate. Furthermore, we immigrants “, asserted Dominga with 48 living in the Big Apple.
Likewise, the Mexican Martha Salamanca, 45, He regretted that he will have to wait for the next weekend because he believes that a couple of hours will not be enough to exercise his right.
“At my job they only give me one hour. But even if I have to sleep here, I will. As a Mexican, it would be unforgivable if she turned her back on this opportunity to give my opinion ”, concluded the insurance broker who tried to pay in vain during her break.
This is how participation goes:
- 4.7 million active voters is officially registered with New York City
- 70% is the estimate of people who will vote early or by mail before Election Day on November 3.
- 40,838 registrants had already voted in Manhattan according to BOENYC information as of press time.
- 30,484 in The Bronx
- 61,315 in Brooklyn County
- 40,278 in Queens
- 21,000 in Staten Island