Over 3.2 pct of NYS voters have cast ballots in early voting

By Xia Lin

NEW YORK, Oct. 26 (Xinhua) -- New York voters have come out in high numbers since Saturday for early voting, which is the first time the state has offered in-person voting prior to Election Day in a presidential year.

A total of 422,166 people cast their ballots at early voting sites across the state on Saturday or Sunday, over 3.2 percent of the nearly 13 million registered voters statewide, according to an unofficial tally by the state Board of Elections.

The heavy turnout led to long lines in densely populated areas, including New York City, where some voters waited for several hours to cast their ballots.

Altogether 193,915 votes were cast in New York City during the weekend, or 46 percent of the statewide total, according to the tally.

New York's early voting period runs from Saturday to Nov. 1, ahead of the Nov. 3 Election Day, according to the schedule released by the state government. There will be no early voting on Nov. 2.

In the 2016 general election, New York ranked the 41st in the country for voter turnout, with just more than 57 percent of the voting-eligible population casting ballots. The state improved its turnout ranking by three spots compared to the 2012 general election.

Nationwide, early voting rates have dramatically surged this year, as President Donald Trump and his Democratic rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, campaigned for the White House.

According to media reports, until Oct. 25, 58 million voters had cast their ballots across the country, and up to 150 million people would turn out to vote this year, a record high in the past decades.

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