New York City's Board of Elections is notorious for voter purges and machine breakdowns causing chaos and long lines, like these for the 2018 midterm elections:

So it may seem hard to believe it's pulled off early voting without much of a hitch.


"I think everyone in New York City is always in search of a problem," New York City Board of Elections Executive Director Mike Ryan said.

Mike Ryan says so far, so good after three days of early voting, even with new technology that includes electronic poll books and printers that produce individual voters' ballots.

"We're getting positive feedback from the voters. I've actually had more than one occasion at poll sites where I have been…thanked by voters for the efforts that we've made," Ryan said. "I can tell you that in elections past, that's not always the case."

"I encourage folks to suspend their cynicism," Jarret Berg said. Berg, co-founder of the voter advocacy group Vote Early NY, says it's a new day.

Turnout has been light:

  • 8,558 voters on Sunday
  • 3,964 on Saturday
  • 5,637 on Monday.

So it's a total of 18,159 voters for the first three days of early voting. That's an average of 99 voters per early voting site for the first three days.

But it's also an off-year election with few races on the ballot, which makes this a good dry run for 2020. Voters NY1 spoke to Monday had universal praise.

"I think it's great to have the choice, between voting on one day after you've had a long day of work," one voter said.

"This is only the beginning. With that comes a few growing pains, but so far the reports from voters…have really been outstanding," Berg said. "Most folks say it's easy, it's quick, it's convenient, how come it took so long?"

Many elected officials made a point of showing up Saturday to be among the first to vote early.

There is no word from the White House on whether President Donald Trump would vote in this election, early, absentee, or otherwise.

New Yorkers can get more information on early voting at the Board of Elections website, or by checking out our Election Guide to locate their poll site and find out what's on their ballot.

You can vote early, now through Sunday, and on Election Day on Tuesday, November 5.


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