NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Day 3 of early voting in New York State saw a steady stream of voters across the city, but it was nothing like this weekend, when people waited for hours in long lines to cast their ballots.
Leading elected officials are demanding changes to the process.READ MORE: Explosion Reported In Garage Of Perth Amboy Home
As CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge reported, there was a pretty steady stream of people showing up to vote Monday at the Barclays Center.
Showing off her “I Voted” sticker, Roberta Jones said she came prepared with a stool to wait hours in the rain to vote, but instead it took just 20 minutes.
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“I was anticipating a big crowd. Yesterday, it was really, really big. [I thought] it’ll get big again, but today not so bad,” she told Duddridge. “So come on out and vote, it’s important.”
“Really easy. I got a pass sent to me in the mail and it said where my early voting location was and we’ve been in line maybe two minutes. Couldn’t have been smoother,” another voter said.
“I applied for an absentee ballot. I have it with me, but I wanted to vote in person,” fellow voter Jennifer Rawe said. “If it took too long today, I probably would turn in my absentee ballot.”
It’s a total 180, compared to the 3-4 hour wait times thousands of people experienced this weekend.
Mayor Bill de Blasio says that is unacceptable and undemocratic.
“Long lines at a poll site discourage voting, they don’t encourage it,” the mayor said Monday. “So here’s what I’m calling on the Board of Elections to do – Right away, the Board of Elections must increase the number of voting machines and must ensure the staff is available at early voting sites to help people vote quickly and efficiently.”READ MORE: Subway Rider Killed Crossing Between Cars In Brooklyn
The Board of Election tweeted nearly 194,000 New Yorkers voted Saturday and Sunday.
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This is the first year early voting has been allowed in a presidential election, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that is no excuse for election officials not to be prepared for the turnout.
“I think the Board of Elections in New York City did a terrible job. Terrible. And it’s not the first time, and I think I would be open to an entire redesign of the the New York City Board of Election system.”
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams held a rally, also calling for reforms to early voting, including free transit rides for all poll workers to get to their locations.
He also asked for clearer signage, since some people don’t know which sites are for early voting and which are for day of voting.
Adams wants the hours at all 88 early voting sites to be consistent, saying there was confusion with varying times site to site. He also wants those hours to be extended.
“I think anything that allows more voting, that allows people to vote on their schedule is good,” said voter Nicholas Bowers. “Especially in the state of New York, which I’ve been surprised since I moved here 10 years ago, has been behind in how easy it is to vote.”
“Taking the time to do your research and resources. There are other issues going on, but it shouldn’t be this hard for American citizens to vote,” another voter added.
Voters can cast their ballots through Nov. 1. Then on Nov. 2, poll workers get one day off, before Election Day on Nov. 3.MORE NEWS: Tyler Rios Faces 1st Court Appearance In Kidnapping, Murder Case
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