Despite the rain, the basement of P.S. 85 in Astoria was packed with voters with a line stretching over the stairs and out of the front door this election day morning.
Many said they had shown up to vote blue down the ballot in hopes of giving Democrats control of the Senate, and weakening the power of President Donald Trump.
“I don’t like to be polarized in that way but in order to make progress we have to counter balance at this point,” said John Williams, a 27-year-old musician who moved to Astoria a year ago. Williams, like many other voters, found it unfortunate that they felt compelled to vote along partisan lines. They would much prefer to vote on candidates.
P.S. 85 is located in Assembly District 36, the only district in all of Queens where Cynthia Nixon beat Andrew Cuomo for governor during the September Democratic primary; Nixon received 56 percent of the vote.
Many Nixon supporters, independents or third party voters were reluctant to vote anything but Democrat, afraid that a vote for any other party was essentially a vote for Republicans.
“We both voted for Cynthia Nixon but we voted for Cuomo,” said Deb Scher, 37, referring to herself and her friend Becky Palley, 33. The two went to the polls together.
The pair said that they knew that a vote against Cuomo would be counterproductive for things like immigration reform, reproductive rights, voting rights and healthcare. They were hopeful that their fellow Astorians would realize this as well.
“Whatever happens we will make the best of things,” said Palley.
Even if things take a conservative turn, Democrats we spoke to said that the high turnout to vote in neighborhood bodes well for future.
“I’m a musician so I think of it like practice,”said Williams. “So people can at least have filled out a ballot once so that next time they’ll be like ‘oh ok, that wasn’t so hard.'”
Today, QNS reporters visited polling sites across Queens reporting on the Election Day turnout. You have until 9 p.m. tonight to vote — so get out there and exercise your right!