More than 3 Million NYC Voters Cast Ballots in 2020 Election, BOE Says as it Finalizes Results
By Yehudit Garmaise
Today, when the city’s Board of Elections (BOE) officially certified the results from the Nov. 3 election, in which, the completion of more than 3 million votes were counted, the margin of victory for Joe Biden was expanded by four points from the unofficial results that were originally announced on Election Day.
Today’s certification process finally arrived after three weeks of counting in-person, early voting, and mail-in ballots, through a process that most state lawmakers would like to speed up for future elections. Some proposals for quicker ballot counting include the addition of early voting sites and a restructuring and modernizing of the BOE, which Mayor Bill de Blasio said was necessary many times in the week leading up the election.
The long wait for the certified election results, which state officials will meet tomorrow to finalize, reflects the BOE’s counting challenges, which were exacerbated by a dramatic increase in votes cast by absentee ballots.
While absentee ballots accounted for just 4% of the total vote four years ago, this year, that number rose dramatically to 22% of all votes that were cast in the city.
This year, of the three million New York City voters, more than in the last two presidential elections, a record-breaking 662,314 voters mailed in absentee ballots, which were more readily available and widely used because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
One-third of the city’s total absentee ballots were cast by Manhattan voters, while the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens both cast approximately one-fourth of the absentee ballots, followed by the Bronx at one-tenth, while only one of out of 20 Staten Islanders cast votes by mail.
Mail-in voting might have been lower in Brooklyn after 100,000 of its residents had to be mailed second ballots after their first ones were found to have printer errors.
Another contributor to the high rate of voter turnout in the city was Early Voting, in which a staggering 1.1 million voters in New York City participated for the first time in a presidential election.
In fact, Brooklyn residents made up the largest group of the city’s early voters, with more than 370,000 people voting early, according to the BOE, who also said that more than 250,000 voters in Queens, 238,000 in Manhattan, 153,000 in the Bronx, and 104,000 in Staten Island cast ballots during early voting.
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