Fired New Yorkers stand in line for hours to solid votes early

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© Reuters. Voters line up in New York on the first day of early voting to cast ballots

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By Jeenah Moon

NEW YORK (Reuters) – New Yorkers blocked polling stations and stood in line for hours to cast ballots on the first day of the state’s early voting on Saturday. They rushed to record their decisions 10 days before the November 3rd presidential election.

Long lines formed ahead of the polls opened in New York City and Long Island, as video on social media showed as New Yorkers joined a deluge of more than 56 million Americans across the country who cast early ballots at record speed .

Saturday was the first time that voters in New York, a reliably democratic state in which Democrat Joe Biden has a big lead in polls over Republican President Donald Trump, were allowed to vote early in a presidential election.

A majority of New York’s voters have not supported a Republican presidential candidate since Ronald Reagan’s re-election in 1984. The early personal voting will continue in the state through November 1.

Vanessa Reilly, 38, a computer programmer, voted for Biden early Barclays (LON 🙂 Center Arena in Brooklyn. She said she wanted to make sure her vote was counted.

“I just want to avoid the chaos on election day itself,” said Reilly, adding that many people showed up to register their opposition to Trump.

“Given this year and the current president, we need to send a clear message that his policies are not working, that they are offensive, that they do not represent American values,” she said.

Around 56.5 million Americans have already cast ballots early in person or by mail across the country. According to the US election project, this could lead to the highest turnout in more than a century.

The rush to vote is a sign of keen interest in the Trump-Biden competition, as well as concerns about avoiding overcrowded polling stations on election day and reducing the risk of exposure to the coronavirus pandemic that killed more than 224,000 Americans.

Due to the high level of early voting, Michael McDonald, professor at the University of Florida who administers the US election project, has forecast a record turnout of about 150 million, or 65% of the electorate. This is the highest participation rate since 1908.

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