Patrick Boyce, of Middle Island, shuffled forward on a line he stood in for the past three hours Oct. 24. As time dragged on, and his feet grew sore, he said he wished he had brought a chair.
He wasn’t the only person complaining about sore feet, as Boyce was just one of 55,000 people, including 20,319 in Suffolk, who came out to vote on Long Island over the weekend of Oct. 24 and 26, according to Newsday. At Brookhaven Town Hall, just one of two locations in Brookhaven where one could vote early, the line started near the end of the hill along Independence Drive. It curved up and over to the left, then wrapped like a snake through the parking lot south of the main building before finally ending at the front door of the main building. Poll workers walked through with a unique kind of energy, getting people to move forward in line and make room for more.
The time to vote was from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., but as the line closed to any newcomers in the evening, hundreds still had to make their way into the polling place. Some, like the Biondo family of Port Jefferson, spent five hours on line, having originally arrived around 12:30 p.m. The line at Nesconset Elementary School, which they tried first before coming to Brookhaven, was just as long, if not longer.
By most accounts the lines were long but calm, and the majority of people were wearing masks. At Brookhaven Town Hall, people paid for snacks and drinks from a small concession stand like food hawkers at a major league game.
Boyce, who got on the line at 11:54 a.m., though he was getting there early, though very few expected the lines to be that long.
“It’s worth it though,” he said. “I think election day, it’s going to be even worse.”
Early voting continues this week until Sunday. Click on the image to see a chart of when and wear you can cast your early ballot.