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Low voter turnout in NYC may reflect "lost faith in the system"

Officials report low voter turnout across New York City
Officials report low voter turnout across New York City 02:25

NEW YORK - New York City's Board of Elections said Tuesday the turnout for this election has been low

CBS New York's Jennifer Bisram went to polling sites across the five boroughs. While she saw some voters, she didn't see a lot. 

From Harlem and Staten Island to Brooklyn, the Bronx and Queens, CBS New York spent Election Day at polling sites across New York City. 

"It's so important to vote on the issues and that way you won't feel left out," one voter said. 

"I wasn't born in this country, and for me, I value a lot the fact that I can participate in the decisions that are made," voter Leticia Alanis said.

"The voting is a way of telling the government what you need," voter Suedatt Singh said. 

We caught up with Yusef Salaam in Harlem after he voted. Salaam, one of the Exonerated Five, was declared the winner of the City Council primary race in Harlem this summer

"Those who have been close to the pain have to have a seat at the table," Salaam said. 

Officials said voter turnout is low this November. 

"When you don't participate in the process, they will participate without you. Your non-included voice will be a voice where you don't have any say in the matter," Salaam said. 

Michael Ryan, executive director of the Board of Elections of New York City, said people are more drawn to presidential, gubernatorial and mayoral races. 

"This year, which happens to be an off-year election where there are no major offices at the top of the ticket," Ryan said. 

Numbers from the Board of Election show nearly 313,000 New Yorkers voted, compared to the 4.6 million active voters in the city. 

"Every City Council seat is on the ballot, and the power of the City Council is enormous. Their budget is over $100 billion. So our roads, our schools, our trees," Assembly District Leader Richard David said. 

Local leaders like David say a better government in New York depends on a higher voter turnout. 

"Some have lost faith in the system. Some people don't believe that them voting is actually going to lead to a change in their outcome, and a lot of people are really not connected to their government," David said. 

The Board of Elections says before work and after work are usually when they see the most people voting. 

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