Dozens of states across the country already have early voting and New York will finally join them in October. Voters will be allowed to cast ballots as early as nine days ahead of Election Day.

But it may not be as easy as some want.

"We understand that it's a work in progress and there's a foundational number of sites to get this program off the ground," New York City Board of Elections Executive Director Mike Ryan said at a board meeting Tuesday.

The city Board of Elections approved a plan at the meeting to open 38 poll sites for the early voting period in October and November. That list is due to be submitted to the state Wednesday. But that number is far less than what advocates and elected officials want.


"All I can say is it's an ongoing process and we will continue to work with everyone to make sure an early voting program in New York City is done well and done effectively," Ryan said.

Just a day before, Mayor Bill de Blasio offered the board $75 million to open up 100 poll sites across the five boroughs.

"I want to be clear: 100 early voting sites means you are actually trying to help people vote," the mayor said at a rally outlining his offer Monday.

As of now, the board is not immediately taking him up on that offer, although Ryan wouldn't rule it out for the future.

Gross: So you're not taking the mayor's money?

Ryan: No, what I said, again, this is what we have identified up until this point. We have a statutory requirement to make an announcement by May 1. That does not mean that our work is finished. We are going to take input from the mayor, from the City Council, from community organizations.

The vote at the board sparked an immediate and fiery response from the mayor on Twitter:


De Blasio gave the board a new deadline: By May 29, he wants the board to come up with another 62 sites for early voting. When NY1 asked the board to respond, it had no comment.

Officials at the Board of Elections said this was really just the beginning of the process. They said a lot more needs to be worked out to make sure early voting in New York City is a success.


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