Early voting/election (298574)
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Early voting kicked off this weekend as mayoral candidates Eric Adams and Curtis Sliwa, a plethora of city council candidates, all five borough president candidates, and other city office hopefuls brace for upcoming Election Day. 

With four days completed, 55,106 is the unofficial tally of New Yorkers who cast their ballots so far, said the Board of Elections via Twitter. 

The boroughs with the most votes cast so far are Manhattan—16,690 votes, and Brooklyn—13,831 votes.

The BOE also confirmed that the dreaded process of ranked choice voting (RCV) is only used in primary and special elections and will not be making a guest appearance for the general election this Tuesday.

According to polls, Adams still had a “commanding lead” over Sliwa going into last night’s debates on ABC NY-7. It’s generally assumed that June’s primary winners, meaning Adams and others, will win in November as well. The exception being a few swing districts in Brooklyn’s city council races, such as Councilmember Justin Brannan who’s running for reelection in District 43, and the Staten Island Borough President race where Democrat Mark Murphy is looking to make a dent in Republican territory. 

In addition to electing leaders, there are five important ballot questions on this year’s ballot that also shouldn’t be ignored: th​​e state’s redistricting process which determines voting lines and representation, the right to clean air and a healthy environment, same-day voter registration, the option to vote by mail without providing an excuse, and jurisdiction of the New York City Civil Court. 

These questions on the ballot would lead to amendments to the New York State Constitution, and potentially reform the city’s elections, something the BOE has been heavily criticized for not doing enough of this year.

The Communications Workers of America, which represents BOE workers, said that the current structure of the BOE contributes to an “unacceptable lack of accountability at the top level of the agency.” That structural issues in the agency, working conditions for employees, underfunding, and understaffing at the BOE need to be addressed, even if it takes a constitutional amendment.

As ever, polls will be open through Sunday, Oct. 31 with Election Day looming next week on Tuesday, Nov. 2. 

Voters may also cast a vote by absentee ballot, as long as it is postmarked no later than Nov. 2. Voters can also drop off completed absentee ballots at any early voting or Election Day poll site. An assigned early voting location is probably different from your regular Election Day poll site. To find your early voting and Election Day polling places, go to findmypollsite.vote.nyc/. 

Ariama C. Long is a Report for America corps member and writes about culture and politics in New York City for The Amsterdam News. Your donation to match our RFA grant helps keep her writing stories like this one; please consider making a tax-deductible gift of any amount today by visiting: https://tinyurl.com/fcszwj8w

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