New Yorkers headed to the polls Saturday to pick the city’s next mayor as early voting started in the contest and in races for comptroller, public advocate and dozens of local seats.
Democrat Eric Adams, the Brooklyn borough president who is considered the frontrunner for mayor after winning a crowded primary contest, did not cast his ballot Saturday.
“I just like to enjoy walking in on Election Day. I’m going to do that with my son and I’ll be voting on Election Day, but I’m encouraging people to vote early if they want. Just vote, that’s what’s important,” Adams said at a get-out-the-vote rally in Chinatown.
Curtis Sliwa, the founder of the Guardian Angels and the Republican mayoral candidate, will also be voting at a later date, his campaign said.
Instead, Sliwa accompanied his wife, Nancy — a City Council candidate on the Upper West Side — to vote, taking a kitten with him. He was then to attend a “Latinos for Curtis Sliwa for Mayor” parade in Washington Heights.
Unlike the start of early voting a year ago, when thousands of New Yorkers waited to cast ballots at some polling sites in the heated presidential election, there was no rush to the polls Saturday.
A Board of Elections map showed wait times of less than 20 minutes at polling locations across the city Saturday morning.
At the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which was one of 106 sites designated for early voting, just 39 people had voted by 10 a.m.
Richard Novick, 74, a retired investment manager, said he would be out of town on Election Day so was casting his ballot early and backing Adams saying he “feels like a real New Yorker.”
“I hope the next mayor doesn’t want to defund the police. That is not what we should be doing right now,” Novick said. “Living on the Upper East Side, it’s a pretty wealthy tax base, so I hope the next mayor will figure out a way to keep people who are fleeing to Florida here.”
Dan Dougherty, 53, an educator voting at the museum, declined to say which candidates he supported but hoped “whoever gets elected is able to bring this city back to the vibrancy we had before the pandemic, to bring prosperity to all corners of the city.”
In a citywide race, Democrat Jumaane Williams is seeking re-election for public advocate, facing off against Republican contender Dr. Devi Nampiaparampil. In the city comptroller’s contest, Democrat Brad Lander is facing off against Republican Daby Carreras.
Voters are also picking borough presidents, and all 51 City Council seats, with most of the body’s members forced out because of term limits.
Manhattan and Brooklyn residents are also choosing district attorneys.
Polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and will follow the same schedule Sunday. The hours then vary by day.
The polls will be closed on Nov. 1 before reopening at 6 a.m. Nov. 2 for Election Day.