Early voting starts today for the June 22nd primary, with voters casting ballots in citywide races for what’s being billed as one of the city’s most consequential elections.
There are also races for Manhattan District Attorney, and civil court judges. For the first time in the city’s history voters will decide who will run City Hall through ranked-choice voting, which allows them to pick up to five candidates instead of just one. (While the citywide elections will be decided through ranked-choice voting, voters will not be able to decide their next Manhattan DA through that process.)
The city Board of Elections approved to expand voting sites, adding 16 more than the 2020 presidential election, bringing the total to 104 sites. Polls, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, have been open since 8 a.m. on Saturday—early voting hours vary each day.
Laura Skoler was waiting outside the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center at 7:45 a.m. She was the first and only person on line, explaining she was there early because of the long lines for early voting during the presidential election last year.
When thinking about who to vote for mayor, Skoler said she was picking “someone who knows how to run this crazy, wonderful, marvelous city.”
Mayoral candidate Andrew Yang and his wife Evelyn were greeting voters near the Lincoln Center site. “The fact that after all these months of campaigning, people can finally make their voices heard, it’s a really exciting occasion,” he said.
Mayoral candidates Shaun Donovan and Kathryn Garcia were seen voting early. Their rival, Ray McGuire, was spotted outside the Met early Saturday morning before making his way to an event at the National Action Network headquarters. He was joined by Eric Adams, along with Yang, and candidate and civil rights attorney Maya Wiley. Scott Stringer spent his morning in the Bronx, alongside Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers.
Also n the Bronx, friends Elonia Lessington and Brenda Goodwin went to vote at the Bronx County Courthouse together.
“We wanted to make sure that our vote gets counted,” Goodwin on why she ventured out early. “You should always have a choice.”
In the Rockaways, Gabriel Evans and his wife Donna were among the first voters to cast their ballots at the YMCA. A retired therapist who wore his “Vietnam Veteran” hat, Evans said he preferred early voting.
“There is no crowd, especially because I am a disabled veteran. I was able to take my time and the instructions were very legible,” he said. Both Evans and his wife cited experience as their biggest issue and ranked mayoral candidate Eric Adams as their top choice followed by Garcia and Scott Stringer.
Click here to find your early voting and primary day poll site (they can sometimes be different locations).
And check out where all poll locations this year:
Need a primer on who’s running? Click here to peruse the Gothamist/WNYC voting guide that breaks down who’s on the ballot this year.