In New York, the electoral commission criticized for too long queues for early voting

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© Ivan Pilshchikov / TASS

NEW YORK, October 30. / TASS /. The Election Commission of New York has been heavily criticized for the fact that residents who want to vote early at the polls have to wait several hours.

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"It's great to see so many people waiting in line to cast their vote, but it doesn't have to take hours," New York State Assemblyman Mike Janaris said in a statement released Thursday. The Democrat, considered one of the most influential members of the state Senate, has proposed increasing the number of precincts where ballots are accepted early for the next election. The legislator, who himself had been waiting in line for more than two hours in the Queens area, emphasized that "the current composition of the election commission has failed its main task," and "decisive reforms" are needed.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio had to wait more than three hours at the Brooklyn site. The mayor explained to journalists from local TV channels that he decided to stand in line out of solidarity with other citizens, and also to demonstrate to what extent he was dissatisfied with the organization of the vote.

“We need a completely new election commission,” he told reporters.

At the site in Manhattan

As the TASS correspondent was convinced, at the entrance to one of the largest polling stations in the metropolis in the Madison Square Garden sports and entertainment complex in Manhattan, two queues line up in the daytime, diverging in different directions. They stretch for several hundred meters around the building. New Yorkers are waiting for the opportunity to vote, despite the fact that in recent days it has become cold and it is often raining.

Almost everyone in the light of the coronavirus pandemic arrives in protective masks and carefully observes social distancing norms while standing in lines. At the entrance to the polling station, voters are offered hot coffee. Police squads are on duty around the building.

There are clearly fewer campaign materials on the city streets during the current electoral cycle than before the 2016 elections. Posters or LED screens with calls to come to the polls are regularly encountered. Many residents of the metropolis have attached signs with the word "Vote" to the windows or put up at the entrances to their houses.

At the paws of stone lions located at the entrance to the New York Public Library, posters were placed with the words: "Read, think, vote." The library is still closed to the public due to the pandemic. The faces of the lions, which are the symbol of the library, are wearing protective masks.

More than 700 thousand have already voted.

Early in-person voting began in New York on October 24 and ends on November 1. According to the latest data from the election commission, more than 700 thousand people in the city voted ahead of schedule at polling stations. Across the state of New York, according to the United States Elections Project, more than 2.2 million people have already voted in advance, including by mail.

The upcoming November 3 US general election will elect a president and vice president, 35 senators, all 435 members of the House of Representatives, 13 state and territory governors, and local governments. Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Joseph Biden are fighting for the presidency.

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