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Polling Hours Extended, New Site Open In Manhattan This Weekend To Ease Long Early Voting Lines In New York City

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Nearly 1 million New Yorkers have now cast their ballots in the city.

Saturday was the second-to-last day of early, in-person voting.

The city's Board of Elections extended voting hours this weekend and added a new polling site in Manhattan to help ease the long lines, CBS2's Christina Fan reported.

One week into early voting and the demand was still so high that the line at Marymount Manhattan College wrapped around the block on the first day it opened as a polling site.

"I saw the line at Wagner yesterday, in the pouring rain at like six in the morning and, so, I was like, I just got to get out here early today," said Christina Ramasami.

WEB EXTRA: Tri-State Area Voter Guide For Nov. 3 General Election

Ramasami and other in line were supposed to vote at Robert Wagner Middle School, but the polling site had been so overwhelmed, that elections officials decided to open an additional site on the Upper East Side this weekend.

Watch Christina Fan's report --

"I heard that it was taking people a really long time to vote, upwards of like five hours," said Jen Rehn.

MORE: Rockland County Extends Early Voting Hours After New York Civil Liberties Union Files Lawsuit

The other option to vote early via mail-in-ballot has also been popular this year. New York made it much easier to request one because of the coronavirus pandemic.

In New York City alone, Board of Elections Secretary Frederic Umane said they sent out more than 1 million mail-in ballots. Historically, he said, they'd send about 100,000 to 150,000.

"The processing for counting the mail-in ballots will be especially time consuming and, so far, not too many people have been focusing on this issue," Umane said.

MORE: NYC Board OF Elections Official Says All Ballots May Not Be Counted Until December

Mail-in ballots must be dropped off or postmarked by Election Day, Nov. 3, and received by Nov. 10 to be counted.

The polls in New York City are open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, which is the final day of early voting.

Early voting hours were also extended by 2.5 hours in Rockland County this weekend following a lawsuit against that Board of Elections.


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