Manhattanites head to the polls early with crime and homelessness on their minds

As early voting began this past weekend in the 2021 mayoral election, voters are considering the issues that are important to them in deciding the future of the Five Boroughs. 

Hundreds of Manhattanites took to the polls on Oct. 23-24 to choose a new mayor, borough president, district attorney, and more. As new faces are ushered into office, many New Yorkers are reflecting on the last several years. 

Voters check in. Photo by Dean Moses

Patricia D. says she came to vote early avoiding procrastination, so she made sure cast her ballot at the Hunter College site on Sunday and said the process was seamless.

“I do like the idea of early voting because you never know on that specific day what might occur, so you do it ahead of time with no worries,” Patricia D. said. She noticed that this year’s election was not as busy as the presidential one but believes later at night it may pick up for those leaving work.

Outside of Hunter College’s early voting site, Patricia D. shows off her voting sticker. Photo by Dean Moses

The vote for mayor was the most pressing matter for Patricia D., who says that the issues she was most concerned with is the rights of those incarcerated and the influx of homelessness.

“I think there needs to be a new process in order. Homelessness is just incredibly sad. I actually carry several dollar bills in my pocket now because I see so many homeless people on the street. The homeless issue is, to me, something of the heart. In the last two years it’s been far worse,” Patricia D. added.

Similar issues plague the minds of those further downtown at Campos Plaza Community Center at 611 East 13th St. Here, earlier voters followed the red and blue arrows ushering them to the polls, where they hope their collective voice is heard when it comes to crime.

Sixto Gonzalez, says this election is important to him after witnessing the many issues New Yorkers have been facing over the past 19 months, especially crime.

Voters cast their ballots at the Hunter College site. Photo by Dean Moses

“I see all the issues going on in society as a whole, and I wanted to take the opportunity to vote early so I made sure I didn’t miss it,” Gonzalez said, expressing his love for New York and the need for things to be made better and safer.

Gonzalez was also surprised that there was no line to get into vote, and the entire process was significantly less busy in comparison to last year.

For Tom McLoughlin, on the other hand, voting is a right he exercises every opportunity he gets. He proudly shared that he is a registered democrat and he felt that early voting this year was extremely easy since there was nobody on line when he arrived.

“It was easy last election as well, but it was much more crowded,” McLoughlin said, believing that more voters will be heading to the sites as election day approaches.

Making a choice is not always easy. Photo by Dean Moses

While McLoughlin says the issues themselves are not on the ballot, he believes it is up to voters to choose a candidate that would be able to best address their concerns.

“I think that the democratic candidate, an ex-cop will look at that problem — crime,” McLoughlin said.

Tom Mcloughlin said the process to vote was quick and easy. Photo by Dean Moses
Voters filled in their paper ballots. Photo by Dean Moses
Stickers were distributed to voters and future voters. Photo by Dean Moses