Lines stretch for blocks as New Yorkers begin early voting

NEW YORK (WABC) -- People in New York can head to the polls early for the first time in a presidential election year.

Early voting began Saturday across New York State, offering voters nine days to cast their ballots prior to Election Day.

The NYC Board of Elections released Saturday's early voting total check-in:



Dozens lined up in Brooklyn ready to cast their ballots an hour before polling places were open.


One line in Clinton Hill wrapped completely around a city block.


In Downtown Brooklyn, early voting lines kept going down the block and then started to loop around.


At the Brooklyn Museum, the line wrapped around the parking lot and down the block.


Time-lapse video showed how long the lines were outside of Barclays Center.
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Early voters line up outside Barclays Center in Brooklyn.



Madison Square Garden also drew a large crowd on the first day of early voting.



New York City councilman Brad Lander expressed his emotions on Twitter after seeing many residents outside a polling site in Queens.


Sen. Mike Gianaris was amazed at the voter turnout in Astoria.


One voter said he had never seen a line so long at Queensborough Hall in Jamaica.


And on Long Island, voters waited in a line that wrapped around the building at a site in Plainview.


Tens of millions of people have already voted in the contentious election between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden.

RELATED: Trump votes in Florida. before rallies; Biden focuses on Pennsylvania

New York's early voting period runs until Sunday, November 1, ahead of the November 3 general election.

There will be no early voting on Monday, November 2.

RELATED: New York officials optimistic about fixes to mail-in voting system

Voting rights advocates hope more New Yorkers will choose to vote early in a year when overall turnout is projected to top two-thirds of 12 million registered voters.

"If we assume this will be a high interest, high turnout election, moving as many people off Election Day to participate earlier in the program is a better outcome for everyone involved," said Jarret Berg, an attorney and a co-founder of the nonprofit Vote Early New York. "People can avoid lines entirely, they can avoid any uncertainties with the mail. So we've basically rebranded voting on Election Day as the last voting option instead of the first and only opportunity."
Voters must vote at their assigned Early Voting Site.

CLICK HERE to find your polling place, and CLICK HERE to browse by county for times and places where you can vote early.

RELATED: New York early voting: What you need to know

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