Like you, I have been waiting for this moment for 4 years.
I have never seen voting lines like this, not in 20 years, not in sleepy East Hampton after the summer crowds are long gone. Newsday and the Press were there to document the lines with photos and interviews of voters.
I got in line for early voting at Windmill Village in East Hampton. Polls were open from 10 AM to 3 PM. At 10:30 AM the line snaked around the neighborhood. I heard from a poll official that there were 260 voters in line. They were processing about 1 voter/min by my estimate based on how often a voter entered the actual polling station.
I was expecting a 4 h wait. But it turned out to be just about 3 hours. My friends Nigel and Jane got in line at 9 AM and voted at 11 AM: about 2 hours.
These kind of waiting periods are exhausting for elderly folks. They were for me.
Here is what you can do:
- 1. you can drop off you mail-in ballot and to do so you can go right to the front of the line and be directed to the correct person in the polling stations. The problem is that your ballot won’t be counted until after Nov 3rd along with all other mail-in ballots
- 2. if you are in any way disabled you can go to the front of the line. At Windmill Village they have a side entrance (on the right when you are facing the main entrance). I inquired for a family member who is seriously handicapped and she and her husband can use the side entrance thus avoiding the long line.
- 3. For the rest of us I suggest choosing carefully when you want to try to vote early. As per a prior post here are the choices:
I am thinking that Monday 7 AM might be a safe bet?
Finally, a word about safety.
Every one I encountered was wearing a mask and observing social distancing. Poll workers and voters were disinfecting their hands and the equipment between every voter!
The people in line were courteous and kept each other in a good mood. There were no attempts to threaten or bully voters. The police was stationed at the entrance to the Windmill Village complex to direct cars to park outside the village. They were helpful and friendly. They allowed cars transporting disabled voters to enter and drop them off close to the polling station. My friend Jerry (acting as a Dem poll watcher) confirmed my impression: no shenanigans and no voter intimidation, such as touted by the likes of the ‘Proud Boys’ and encouraged by the President and his sycophants.
I guess we had short lines compared to some polling stations in NY City:
From Angela Devito in Riverhead:
By all accounts, the early voting option is bringing out hordes of voters. A two-hour wait exists in Riverhead at about noon today. Individuals are showing up to vote and to drop off their completed absentee ballots.
Absentee Ballot Drop-Off: Do not wait on line. Go to the head of the line and inform the Polling Inspector you are there to drop your completed ballot into the available ballot box. MAKE SURE THE ENVELOPE IS SEALED and SIGNED.
Early Voting Option: Unlike on general election days, there are NO SAMPLE BALLOTS on hand or posted at the polling site. However, be reminded that you do not have to rush your in-person voting option. When handed your ballot, go to the assigned voting booth and read your ballot front and back sides both. There are propositions that require your vote in addition to the candidates. Most of us are seeing the propositions for the very first time- read carefully before voting. TAKE YOUR TIME TO ENSURE YOUR VOICE IS HEARD AND HEARD CORRECTLY.
If you observe what appear to be any irregularities or are concerned that voting rights are being violated, please call one [or both] of these individuals immediately:
Marge Acevedo . 631-764-1181 . Riverhead Democartic Party Chair
Anita Katz . 631-852-4568 . Commissioner, Suffolk County Board of Elections
We drove by this afternoon but the lines were way too long. Will go early tomorrow morning. This helps us to know what to expect.
Tina Plesset 914.980.0035
Thank you for filling us all in. We’ve decided to wait until the week when we believe it will be less populated. I will be a poll watcher during the election week and hope all will go as calmly as you experienced today!
Very hopeful we’ll prevail!
Paul and Susan McGraw-Keber
Noticed the same situati0n in Southampton. Looked like a line of over 200 people, all masked up and waiting patiently, persistently to cast their votes. Cars parking anywhere possible. I did not see anyone walking away in frustration. Folks are taking this election very seriously.
Tina P (see above) did not even get out of the car when they saw the lines. A mom with her 8 year old son got in line but then left, when they heard it would be hours of waiting. So I do think people were “turned away”.
Note from Jerry (poll watcher in East Hampton):
Poll station is busy again today (Sunday) and improvements are making it faster to vote. They added voting booths outdoors. Yesterday 552 people voted. I am told even more will vote today.
Today, Monday 26th at 8 AM, there was a 30 min line for early voting at Windmill Village in East Hampton when the polling station opened. But one hour later the line was only 5 min. My 24 y.o. daughter voted with enthusiasm. Her 26 y.o. friend voted for the first time ever. Keep it up everyone.
We voted yesterday- Monday late morning. Blue all the way! One hour wait…everyone was friendly but subdued and the workers were extremely helpful in a crowded voting room at Windmill Village. Blue dots marked the pathway from one village to the village where the community house voting station was located. Very exciting to know our vote was cast and we’re hopeful for a landslide!
This from Gerri Maslanka: Hi to Everyone
Working at the polls has been very uplifting. Waits in line were 2 to 3h early on but became an hour to an hour and a half, and then only 45 minutes the next couple of days. The last two days there hasn’t really been a wait but it is a non-stop flow of voters. Will be interesting to see what happens today with this terrible weather. Seeing more young folks than in the past which is good and people who haven’t voted in years. The atmosphere at Windmill Village is incredibly civilized with a feeling of gaity. We’ve seen a few poll watchers but my opinion is there is next to nothing for them to question or object to. Everyone’s excited about voting. By yesterday, for what it’s worth, we had checked in 4500 voters so far. That was at the beginning of the day. Didn’t check the numbers as of last night. Early voting check-ins were 500 for the whole 9 days during the June primary, of course, this is a general election so the comparison is not fair really.
Can’t wait to see what happens on Election Day!
Thanks for all everyone continues to do out there.
Approximately 800 additional voters today at Windmill Village. No wait in line and a steady flow of voters all day, despite the terrible weather. Two more days of Early Voting to go!!!