Just 1% turnout
in fi rst early vote
PHOTO : MARK HALLUM/AMNEWYORK
BY MARK HALLUM
Early voting apparently made little difference in
shaking off the indifference of New York City
The recent trend of remarkably low voter turnout
in the fi ve boroughs didn’t seem to get a boost from
nine days of early voting, according to fi gures from
the city’s Board of Elections. What started out on
Oct. 26 only yielded a cumulative total of 60,110
voters by the time early voting closed on Nov. 3, the
Board of Elections reported.
Less than 40% of registered voters in New York
City participated in the 2018 midterm elections, and
just 23% turned out for the 2017 mayoral elections.
Early voting is expected to help reverse the downward
trend in voter turnout in the years to come.
But the program didn’t appear to make a positive
impact on the 2019 race, and some recognized early
on that the rollout of early voting was not without
its fl aws.
Mayor Bill de Blasio had called the state legislation
to adopt early voting “a chance for us to reinvigorate
our democracy,” at a Queens County Democrats
pre-election party on Oct. 29 and touted how
easy it was for him to vote himself.
“I glided into my poll site in Brooklyn and I was out
of there in like, fi ve minutes, and it is going to open
up a world of opportunity where a lot of people previously
thought that voting was not something that
they could focus on or take time for, now they’re going
to have every opportunity, weekends and weekdays
and all sorts of different times when they can vote,”
de Blasio said.
Few New Yorkers, however, took
the mayor’s advice, as the BOE
Manhattan came in with the highest number of
early ballots cast at 19,865, followed by Brooklyn at
17,976, Queens at 13,129, the Bronx with 4,893 and
Staten Island garnering 4,247.
Those numbers are a far cry from the total number
of active and inactive registered voters in the
fi ve boroughs, according to state Board of Elections
data. The totals are as follows: Manhattan,
1,197,797; Bronx, 833,172; Brooklyn, 1,637,055;
Queens, 1,282,887; and Staten Island, 319,473.
When analyzing the city and state data, amNew-
York determined that only 1.14 percent of all registered
New York City voters participated in early
voting across all fi ve boroughs this year.
For New Yorkers, the races on the ballot may not
have been much of a draw.
The lone citywide race, for public advocate, was
assumed by many to go to incumbent Jumaane Williams,
who won the seat in February. There were
also fi ve ballot proposals on changes to the City
n e c b. c o m
S I M P LY
F R E E
C H E C K I N G
Business or personal.
No minimums, no service charges.
It’s not complicated.
It’s our kind of community banking.
To get free checking, open an NECB checking account
with a $5 opening balance.
CHELSEA: 242 W. 23RD
ADDITIONAL OFFICES IN:
FORDHAM (Little Italy): TH
LENOX HILL: ST
FOR A COMPLETE LIST OF LOCATIONS AND HOURS, GO TO NECB.COM
Schneps Media November 7, 2019 9