Exit polling: New Yorkers concerned about race, virus and economy

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Wednesday, November 4, 2020
Exit polling: New Yorkers concerned about race, COVID and economy
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Dan Krauth takes a look behind the data fueling New Yorkers' votes.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- A record number of people voted in the 2020 election in New York.

Despite the huge turnout, it was a smooth process with few problems reported.

"A very smooth election day in this city," New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

Other than some hour long lines and a few voting sites that opened late, for a city of New York's size, 1.2 million people showed up to cast their ballot in person with few issues.

RELATED | Vote 2020: NYC businesses board up amid fears of civil unrest

The mayor attributes a lot of that to the amount of people who showed up last week to vote early, the first time New Yorkers had the option.

Approximately 1.1 million people voted early. That's almost the same amount of people who voted on Tuesday.

The city is still waiting to see how many of the 1 million absentee ballots that were requested are returned.

"Yesterday could equal or surpass the highest turnout we've ever had in a presidential election in New York City, and this is during the pandemic," Deputy Mayor Phil Thompson said.

Seven On Your Side Investigates analyzed ABC News exit polling data for the state of New York.

Sixty-one percent of those polled rated the economy as "not so good or poor" and most of those voters chose Joe Biden.

When asked "who would better handle the coronavirus pandemic," 71% voted for Biden.

And when asked about racism, 82% of polled voters in New York said it's an important problem, and a majority of those voters also chose Biden.

When asked "which best describes your feelings about the way the federal government is working?" 68% said "dissatisfied or angry," of those, 85% voted for Biden.

Exiting polling shows 14% of voters in New York State voted for the first time in the election.

Moving forward, Mayor de Blasio has said he wants changes made to the New York City Board of Elections so long, early voting lines don't happen again to the magnitude they did this year.

RELATED | Vote 2020: 1 million early votes cast in NYC on final day of early voting

But with record turnout, during the middle of a pandemic, the voting process appears to be a winner.

"Whether it was interference from foreign nations and hacking or a voter suppression efforts violence, we didn't see any of those things, thank God," de Blasio said. "We saw a fair, clean election with a huge amount of participation, that's a good thing."


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