New York Early Voting Begins With Record Turnout | NBC News NOW

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Voters across New York state came out in record numbers to cast their ballots early in the election —nearly 200,000 in the first two days. Ron Allen spoke to voters about their experience with lines and wait times. » Subscribe to NBC News: » Watch more NBC video: ht

[ music ] voters across the state of new york waiting in long lines to cast their ballots during the first weekend of early voting. Take a look at the crowds this saturday outside madison square garden in midtown manhattan. It'S been converted into a polling center new york city mayor bill de blasio, commenting on the record turnout. We saw people really own their democracy. This weekend in new yo ...
k city, we saw the people come out in numbers, we've never seen before, to express their views and determine their future. Almost two hundred thousand new yorkers voted in early voting on saturday and sunday. Nbc news, correspondent ron allen joining me now from queens new york ron. The mayor said there are almost 200 000 new yorkers voting over the weekend, looks like a pretty impressive turnout there in queens uh. What are you seeing there today and what are you hearing from the early voters, all right, yeah allison, but the line goes up the block here and around the corner and it started what about six o'clock this morning or so it's been this way all weekend. It takes about an hour. Most people are telling us from the start to the finish. The entrance is way up there before people can vote, and why are they here because they want to participate? It really seems like boating has become quite a thing this year.

People want to get out - and this is the first time that in new york city, new york state that you can vote early in person in an election. So it's something of an experiment, but people are embracing it there's a lot of passion. A lot of it's political, a lot of its feeling of trying to initiate change, to bring about some change. Here'S some! What some of the voters have been saying to us, as we've been talking to them throughout the day, take a listen yeah. We waited about a half an hour. Is that reasonable? That seems yeah i mean there are people in this neighborhood who, at this polling station, waited two and a half hours on saturday and obviously like i. I think that that's voter suppression, we need more places to vote, but this is early voting and new york is new to this level of early voting. Is it two hour three hour wait unacceptable? Why would that happen in new york? I mean, i think it is both inspiring and unacceptable, and i think that we need a you know: a national voting holiday. So there's some mixed feelings about a two-hour wait, a three-hour wait, which was the case yesterday. Some folks have gone so far to call it voter suppression, others are saying it's, it's sort of the system working out the kinks, but the bottom line is that people are voting in unprecedented numbers. Uh they're out here it's been raining all day. It doesn't seem to matter this is an area of elmhurst queens jackson, night screens, it's not far from what was the epicenter of the pandemic back in the spring and throughout the summer lines then aligns now.

People are dealing with it. We'Ve seen people with crossword puzzles and books, but, as you heard the mayor and the governor also say today, they think there needs to be some changes to the board of elections to make this process smoother during normal times. There are many, many more polling places open and there will be the case that will be the case on november 3rd. This again is just a early voting system. There'S a limited number of places to go. That'S part of why there are long lines. The bottom line is a lot of calls to try and make even this all of it better, smoother easier, not harder to vote allison yeah ron, i mean you said it early voting is new in new york, but the lines certainly are not. I recall back in 2016 waiting nearly three hours to vote on election day. The mayor in his press conference this morning was blaming the new york board of elections. For these long wait times. What kind of changes is he proposing to improve this? The bottom line is more voting machines in more places and more money to do. That is what the mayor and others are saying needs to happen.

There have been problems with voting here during the primaries as well back in june, and after that there were problems getting mail-in ballots to the correct addresses, so there have been some kinks in the system, most people that we've been talking to say, however, that they are Glad that there is opportunity, for example, was smart that voting early voting started on a saturday and a sunday days that people are not working and can get out to vote a lot of people. Don'T like the fact that you have to vote on a tuesday in november, that's been discussed across the country. A lot of people have also said that they weren't confident about mailing their ballot to the post office, because there have been problems with the post office with regular mail. So people are skittish about that. They don't think, there's fraud, they just think it's a system that doesn't always work as efficiently as possible. So a lot of reasons to get out, but the bottom line is that there seems to be a real feeling of civic engagement and a real determination politically to get out here and to make a change. This is obviously a very blue part of the country. Very blue part of the state and people are voting their passions and they want to see a change in washington and that's why they're out here in the rain again all day just to cast their vote. Allison ron. I know the lines are frustrating but, as you said, it sure is inspiring to see uh folks, enthusiasm out there today ron allen in queens. Thank you. So much hey nbc news viewers, thanks for checking out our youtube channel subscribe by clicking on that button down here and click on any of the videos over here to watch.

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