More than 400,000 New Yorkers took advantage of early voting in pivotal midterm election | amNewYork

According to the New York City Board of Elections, 432,634 people cast their votes during nine days of early voting in New York City ahead of Tuesday’s midterm election.

More voters voted in Brooklyn than in any other borough – more than 135,000 early votes were cast before Election Day. Manhattan was close with more than 133,000 voters – while Staten Island came in last with only 36,000 early birds.

Staten Island also has the fewest active registered voters, according to BOE figures – Richmond County has only 317,494 registered voters and regularly votes compared to 1.5 million in Kings County.

While the numbers alone cut out an impressive figure, only 9% of all registered voters in New York City voted early – the popularity of early voting has been decreasing According to the New York City Campaign Finance Board, from 2020, when nearly 40% of all registered voters opted to cast their ballots before election day.

Some early voters told the AMNY Metro that they were motivated by a higher-than-expected tussle between incumbent Governor Kathy Hochul and Republican challenger Lee Zeldin. AP Photo/Mary Altafer, Poole

While this year’s election features several controversial races – including a . also includes closer than expected Voter turnout is almost always high during presidential election years – a contest between incumbent Governor Kathy Hochul and challenger Lee Zeldin.

The Bronx fared poorly with 39,069 early voters, a figure that represents just 5.35% of the active voting population in the northernmost borough. Just over 90,000 people – or about 7.25% of the active voting population – left early in Queens.

Selina Su, a professor of political science at CUNY’s Brooklyn College with a specialization in political participation, told the Bronx Times, AMNY Metro’s sister publication, in an interview on Monday that the borough breakdown reflects a greater economic pattern in voting, with wealthier families voting less. Chances are higher. However, early voting is still an important initiative to remove barriers to voting, she said.

“That’s why it’s a little disappointing to see, at least in broad numbers … we see the same pattern as usual,” she said. “That the city with the highest per capita income, Manhattan, has the highest percentage and the city with the lowest per capita income, the Bronx, has the lowest percentage.”

But city-wide numbers don’t tell the full story, as there may still be new voters and people who would not have voted otherwise who took advantage of the opportunity, Su said.

Political scientists also believe that the city can easily improve where people know where to vote early, such as signs at their specific polling locations a week or two in advance with early voting information.

early polling place
Su told the Bronx Times, the sister site of the AMNY Metro, that posting signs about voting ahead of time could help increase turnout — and that wealthier, better-resourced neighborhoods tend to see higher voter turnout. . File photo by Kevin Duggan

“Anything we can do to help lower barriers to voting makes a difference,” she said.

According to the professor, education efforts on referendums, rank-choice voting, third parties, language access and any notion of choice can help motivate people to vote in a political environment where few people are concerned about it. The cynics feel whether their vote makes a difference. He said that politicians who communicate sound policies can also help in motivating the people.

Many early voters told the AMNY Metro they were voting Democratic — and Cited Hochul race as a special motivator. Some feared that Zeldin’s victory would allow Republicans to return more firmly to other positions across the state.

“I don’t like Republicans. I like Governor Hochul because of his stand behind abortion,” said Manhattan voter Debbie Manguel. “I believe a woman has the right to choose what her body is about. What happens with, is it because she doesn’t want the baby for medical reasons or can’t afford it. After what happened with the Supreme Court, I don’t want Republicans to have any seats.

Additional reporting by Kirsten Brendlen.

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