Isn't it exciting? Tomorrow, the longest presidential campaign ever will draw to a close, and you will finally get your chance to cast your votes for the next president of the United States, among other things. Of course, your polling place does not care how excited you are, and if you get there at the wrong time, you'll probably have to wait in line for ages, inhaling the smell of linoleum and tapping your feet like a New York cliché while worrying about getting fired due to lateness and the crap economy. To make sure that doesn't happen, we called a random sampling of Manhattan polling places today to find out when the best times to vote are where.
As you know, getting there early is the best — most polls open at six. If getting up at the crack of dawn makes you nauseous, try the afternoon — unless it's near a school where parents will be picking up children. Common sense has it that the most jammed times are the after-work hours, between 6 and 9. Don't know where your polling place is? Visit the Board of Elections Website.
One can scope out all the bright-eyed NYU kids (hey, if they’re old enough to vote…) while waiting in line at Soho's Broome Street Residence Hall. But if you want to avoid some of them, try hitting the polls between 10 a.m. and noon, and 2 p.m. and 5 p.m., when they’re theoretically in class. The same goes for all the CUNY voting centers uptown — although if your polling place is St. Anthony’s Church on Sullivan Street, you might want to hang around: The Times nicknamed it the “Soho Polling Place Full of Love” during the primaries.
The 14th Street Y is expecting a major turnout, so hit the polls at off times, between 7 and 10:30 a.m.
P.S. 41, The Greenwich Village School at 116 West 11th Street, is holding a bake sale, so voters can indulge in brownies and cookies while waiting in line. Woot! Avoid the kids by voting between 6 a.m and 8 a.m. The polls close at 9 p.m., so don’t wait too long.
If you’re voting in the West Village at the Westbeth Housing Center, then you’ll be voting at the largest artists' housing community in the world! So remember that while you wait. And get there in the late afternoon, when the area is generally less busy.
If Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis High School is your polling place, avoid the hours between noon and 2 p.m., a popular lunch time for businesses in the area. Lincoln Square–area voters can beat the morning rush by hitting the Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center extra early, at 5 a.m.
Try heading to the iconic United Methodists Church on the Upper East Side during lunch hours, as businesspeople in the area will be voting throughout the day. In downtime, pray. P.S. 167 might get less busy after school lets out around 3 p.m. — but parents will be voting before picking up their kids in the surrounding time, so wait until later in the afternoon, between 3:30 and 5 p.m. The same goes on the West Side, at P.S. 53, and all the public schools around town.
Wherever you poll, you can take part in the Times’ citizen-journalism art project by taking a picture of your poll center and submitting it online here.
And remember to save time by writing down your Assembly District and Election District and bringing it with you on Election Day.
And pull the correct lever. Please.