Thousands of residents turned out Saturday morning to cast ballots on the first day of early voting in the Nov. 3 election.
Lines of voters snaked through the parking lots of the Dix Hills Fire Department and the Huntington Public Library Station branch polling places. By noon, several voters said they had been waiting for at least three hours, having lined up an hour or more before the doors opened at 10 a.m.
A line at the library site started in the LIRR parking lot, came up alongside the building, onto the sidewalk on New York Avenue, down the roadway past Sunny’s Discount and Penne Lane Pasta, and then curled back around to the rear door of the library. The Dix Hills site was equally jammed, with lines extending across the large parking lots and down Deforest Road North. Parking was tight. Both sites had multiple vehicles driving close to the lines of voters.
Mixed in the lines of those waiting to vote were several people wanting to just drop off their paper ballots that they had already filled in. A Common Cause volunteer said later that a poll worker at Dix Hills was reaching out to those in line to collect those paper ballots.
A Huntington resident who had planned to vote Saturday but postponed after seeing the lines said that some people seemed to think that Saturday was the only day to vote early. But early voting continues through Nov. 1.
State Sen. Jim Gaughran, who was waiting to vote, helped a frail-looking woman using a walker move from hundreds of spots back in the line to close to the front of the line. At least two others who were using assistive devices were moved up by other voters in line.
Many people said they had decided to vote early to ensure that their vote got in and counted, while others said they were trying to avoid anticipated long lines on Election Day.