Call them ghostbusters if you will but despite the president of the United States referencing their hometown as a “ghost town” more than 94,000 registered voters turned out to the polls on the first day of early voting in New York City.
Hardly appearing ghostly or ghost-like, their images through any lens contradict the comment President Donald Trump made during a final debate recently saying quarantine and a lockdown now makes NYC a “ghost town.”
Socially distanced and masked to stunt the spread of COVID-19, early bird voters in every borough overwhelmed all 88 polling sites throughout the city from the dawn of Oct. 24.
The one-day figure adds to the 56 million Americans who reportedly have already decided their choice for the next leader of the country.
Exactly one week before Halloween, Empire State voters slammed a response to the nationally, broadcasted presidential diss.
Fashion forward voters showed out – a woman was spotted wearing what looked to be a knock-off from a jacket previously sported by first-lady Melania which said “I don’t care – Do you?”
In true New York style, hers stated “Ruth sent Me!” an obvious reference to Brooklyn’s iconic Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who recently died.
Subtler apolitical comments also decorated masks, caps and other gear worn by expressive New Yorkers.
Vying for prevalence were “Black Lives Matter” “NY Tough” “NYC Vote 2020” “Yes We Can” “Si se Puede” (throwback slogans from the 2008 Democratic campaign) and face coverings bearing the likenesses of former president Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle, Dr. Anthony Fauci and “The Empire Strikes Back.”
Replicas of flags from many migrant nations also found prevalence.
Election districts reported constantly swelling, socially-distanced individuals forming queues from early in the day with voters willing to wait unending hours to cast early votes for the first time in a presidential election.
Native born and naturalized citizens arrived up to three hours ahead of the poll opening schedule in order to get ahead of the nine-day advance opportunity to exercise their political might. Eager millennials, senior citizens, and first time voters filed into Madison Square Garden, the Brooklyn Museum, Barclay Center and Kings Theater, community centers and local early voting locations on the first official day of voting in New York.
Some dropped off affidavits, some brought folding chairs, food, coffee, water, books, games, music and other accoutrements to help pass the time.
Parents were accompanied by small children they chaperoned to share the unprecedented experience of history in the making.
In the 12th CD, a sidewalk comedian told jokes.
An artist painted scenes.
And cellphone photographers captured images some said would be posted on social media.
There too in Williamsburg at 9 am a 102-year-old, Puerto Rican senior walked with assistance from her daughter and a metal walker.
Her 90-year-old neighbor rolled up afterwards on a motorized vehicle.
And a blind man showed up early with his seeing eye dog.
At 10 am a poll worker walked the line to steer seniors for priority voting.
One of the women seated on a bench demanded identification.
“I’m a lawyer, I trust no one,” she said, citing skepticism and suspicion of voter suppression.
A man just ahead of yours truly said “I’m a lawyer too, but I’m taking him up on this offer to move up in the line.”
A designated queue sped the process and by 11 am the aforementioned re-emerged wearing “I VOTED EARLY” stickers and armbands.
On witnessing these images, even the president might consider retracting the ”ghost town” assertion.
Often referred to as Gotham, the city admirably represented the Empire State.
Walking along Fifth Ave. later in the day, it was evident early voters wanted others to know they capitalized on the first time opportunity to vote early.
They displayed their “I voted early” stickers as if they were a badge of honor.
Some gave high fives to fellow Gothamists and it seemed as if Nov. 3 had already arrived.
And while the Democrat leaning city’s populous turned out in droves so did GOP loyalists in Breezy Point, Queens and Staten Island.
On the second day of early voting, a pro-Trump group allegedly mobilized a small caravan of cars from Rockland County in order to campaign for the Republican incumbent.
Allegedly, they rallied in Brooklyn’s Borough Park but were resisted in Manhattan by anti-Trump protestants in Times Square.
They identified themselves as “Jews for Trump.”
Reportedly, an officer with the NYPD is now suspended for using the city’s squad car to campaign in Flatbush, Brooklyn.
Allegedly he used the department’s sound system to promote his “Vote Trump 2020” message.
The Empire is striking back and throughout the boroughs the notion of a perceived “ghost town” has been muted.
Early voting ends on Nov.1.
After Nov. 3 the topic of voting will be moot.
Catch You On The Inside!