Early Voting Starts in NY, Candidates Urge People to Polls

A man votes on the first day of early voting for the New York primary election at Resorts World Casino in Queens, New York City, June 12. (Reuters/Eduardo Munoz)

Candidates in New York City’s heavily contested Democratic mayoral primary on Saturday urged people to go to the polls in the coming days as early voting kicked off.

The start of early voting in the state marks the homestretch to primary election day on June 22. As some candidates voted, others spoke at a get-out-the-vote rally.

“Why on earth would you wait until the last day?” candidate Andrew Yang asked at the event. “You can vote right now. You can vote tomorrow. You can vote Monday. You can vote Tuesday. I don’t know about you all, but I would feel great having gotten it out of the way.”

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams has topped some recent polls, though the 13-candidate race remains tight. Other top contenders include 2020 presidential candidate Yang, former city sanitation commissioner Kathryn Garcia, city Comptroller Scott Stringer and civil rights attorney Maya Wiley.

This primary is especially hard to predict because the city is debuting ranked choice voting, with voters ranking up to five candidates.

Wiley told attendees at the event that with early voting, New York is one of the few states expanding voting rights rather than curtailing them.

Democrats dominate in New York City, and the winner of the party’s primary is considered highly likely to win the general election in November and succeed Mayor Bill de Blasio.

The Republican primary features Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa and Fernando Mateo, a restaurant owner and advocate for taxi drivers.

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