Voters Stand in Line for Up to Four Hours to Cast Their Votes

"American flag with Decision 2020 text" (CC BY 2.0) by Marco Verch Professional Photographer

As voting stations started accommodating voters who opt to cast their ballots in person, thousands of Americans line up to cast their votes.

October 25 marks the first day that the New Yorkers were allowed to cast early votes. There were thousands who were seen spending hours in the queuing lines in order to cast their votes. 

People were spotted patiently waiting at different locations all over the city and the states. They are stood in line, wearing face masks and practicing social distancing. Some even brought with them foldable chairs in anticipation of the long queue. 

Although the polling stations do not open until 10 am in New York time, people already gathered in line hours before the voting stations even opened. Some even arrived in the Madison Square Garden as early as 7 am today, according to a report made by the New York Post. 

“Madison Square Garden (MSG) – Empire State Building” (CC BY 2.0) by ajay_suresh

According to them, the reason why they opted to be there in line early because they wanted to vote, and also, they do not want to deal with any hassle or anyone who might stop people from casting their votes. She also stated that they also wanted to be safe, that’s why they fall in line early. 

Another voter from Staten Island who was interviewed by the New York Post stated that she arrived in the polling location two hours before it opened. She said that it is more convenient for her to vote earlier because this will mean that she does not have to take a day off to vote on November 3, election day. 

The voter also stated that she arrived early because she does not want to be standing so close to people. 

Social distancing and sanitizing areas installed

To keep voters safe as they cast their votes, the Board of Elections installed foot-operated hand sanitizing stations inside the polling locations. They also added social distancing markers on the floor and as well as distributed stylus pens that the voters can take with them for marking their ballots. 

The election officials of New York City is expecting around 60,000 voters to arrive at the Madison Square Garden to cast their ballots. Madison Square Garden is being used as a voting location for the first time. 

Madison Square Garden is just one of the 88 polling locations in New York City that allow people to cast their vote early. This year, 3.3 Million people are expected to vote this year in the city.

Meanwhile, images of the long lines for the polling station were posted by social media users. The line extended at least three blocks away from the polling location. The same scenario is seen in different locations all over Brooklyn and on the Long Island last Saturday, despite having some voting stations being open for early voting days beforehand. 

In Ohio, although early voting was open since October 6, it is the first day of weekend hours that the voting stations are available. The voting queues were so long that it wrapped around the block at the Board of Election building in downtown Cleaveland, Ohio. Police officers even had to divert the line to nearby streets after the line extended from the polling location to a highway off-ramp.