New Yorkers stand in long lines at the polls on first day of early voting

Droves of people headed to the polls in New York City Saturday, creating long lines that wrapped around polling locations on the first day that the state allowed early voting. 

Many Americans have chosen to mail in their ballots or partake in early voting in anticipation of long wait times and crowds on election day amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

More than 700 people wrapped around two blocks waited outside the polls at Central Park East High School in the city Saturday, according to The Washington Post.


The line reportedly folded and doubled back to accommodate the large volume of voters ready to cast their ballots.

Some voters brought lawn chairs to make the waiting time more comfortable, while others made sure to arrive early to avoid the long wait.

Rena Tabra, a 64-year-old naturalized citizen from Peru, arrived at the high school location at 6 a.m. to be the first in line, according to the Post.


Tabra said that she has asthma, but noted that her ailment was not going to stop her from casting her ballot. She chose to vote in person “because I have the power,” adding she never considered mail-in voting.

New York City Councilman Mark Levine also posted a video to social showing long voting lines across Upper Manhattan.

Levine said that an expansive line still remained after the polls closed at 4 p.m.

Early voting will continue throughout the state until Nov. 1, allowing more time for residents in densely populated areas to get in their vote ahead of time, Reuters reported.

Nearly 56.5 million Americans have cast their ballots early, which could amount to the highest voter turnout rate in more than a century, according to the U.S. Elections Project.

California also saw a large turnout for early voting Saturday, with reports from several social media users of lines that wrapped around the block near polling locations.