At least 2.2 million people have cast in-person ballots in New York ahead of Election Day, election officials announced Sunday, the state’s ninth and final day of early voting.
New Yorkers reported wait times of a half-hour or less at many polling places and posted selfies of early voting stickers to social media. The New York City Board of Elections shared a photograph of a 100-year-old voter casting a ballot and wearing a mask.
Statewide, more than 2.2 million people had voted in person through Saturday, according to the New York State Board of Elections, or about 17% of registered voters. On top of that, more than a million voters have returned absentee ballots.
Absentee ballots must be postmarked by Nov. 3 to be counted.
The city's Board of Election has come under fire from Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio, who each delivered multiple attacks over the course of the state's first eight days of early voting.
The BOE added a new early voting site at Marymount Manhattan College on the Upper East Side, which opened as a polling location on Saturday in an effort to relieve crowding.
"I tried to vote at Wagner [Middle School] four times. I got there yesterday early in the morning and the line was already an hour and a half before the polls opened," said Kerry Walk, president of Marymount Manhattan College.
Walk worked with the Board of Elections to allow the campus to be used as an early voting site.
Almost everyone who waited in line wanted to avoid the waits they saw throughout the week at Wagner Middle School - which services 100,000 voters.
The rush to vote is leading election experts to predict a record 150 million votes cast, with turnout rates higher than in any presidential election since 1908.
New York’s overall turnout was projected to top two-thirds of 12 million registered voters. The state did not allow early voting in 2016.
Early voting continues through Sunday. Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 3.