NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The New York City Board of Elections says over 2,296,000 people voted Tuesday and during early voting, and counting all of the mail-in ballots is going to take some time.
In this case, the later birds got the worm. Those who voted on Election Day itself say they didn’t have to wait in the long lines that frustrated many early voters.
“I was in and out, no problems,” one voter said.
“I was in and out in about two minutes,” another voter said.
Voters heading to the polls at I.S. 25 in Flushing late Tuesday afternoon had no wait at all.
It was different from other locations across the city Tuesday morning. In Astoria, people lined up around the block.
But for the most part, there were no major issues.
City Board of Elections Secretary Frederic Umane says nine days of early voting helped make Election Day itself, so far, run smoothly.
“Most, if not all, the scanners are working. Occasionally there’s jams,” he told CBS2’s Andrea Grymes.
Still, the board has been roundly criticized for issues, including long lines during early voting.
The mayor piled on again Tuesday.
“The current Board of Elections doesn’t run the elections the way we need to,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
“I think a lot of it is unfair,” Umane said.
Umane says they’re doing the best they can within the legal rules they need to follow, and that doesn’t just apply to in-person voting.
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Sorting has already started for a historic number of mail-in ballots.
CBS2 got a look inside the board’s office in the West Village.
For the first time, a machine is sorting all of the ballots they’ve received back, in this case, from Manhattan voters, doing in minutes what used to take hundreds of hours.
“It’s really a great piece of technology that we now have,” said Tiffany Townsend, with the Board of Elections.
Each borough has its own sorting machine. Hundreds of workers will begin counting these votes by hand on Monday.
More than 1 million mail-in ballots have been sent out in the city alone.
It could take weeks to count them all, which will make a big difference, especially in smaller races. the board says there are a lot of legal rules they must follow when counting mail-in ballots.
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