UPDATED: Voters concerned about health care, public safety, inflation on Election Day

Voters hit the polls in the Bronx on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022.
Voters hit the polls in the Bronx on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022.
Photo Aliya Schneider

This story was last updated at 6:57 p.m. on Nov. 8. 

The polls opened at 6 a.m. today for the midterm elections, and Bronxites have until 9 p.m. to cast their ballots on a slew of congressional and state races. 

As of noon on Tuesday, the New York City Board of Elections data showed that 50,238 Bronxites had checked in to their polling places. The total, including early voting check-ins, was 89,307 by noon on Election Day. About 11.3% of all registered Bronx voters, including those who already voted early, had cast their ballots by noon on Tuesday.    

At J.H.S. 144 Michaelangelo in Pelham Gardens, one of the voting locations in this year’s general election, a total of 384 ballots had been scanned by 1:10 p.m.

At New York City Housing Authority Marble Hill Community Center, poll workers said voting had been “slow” on Tuesday — with 183 check-ins as of 1:41 p.m. A construction worker at the community center told the Bronx Times on Tuesday that he hadn’t yet seen anyone who appeared younger than about 40 years old vote all day.  

But some voters who showed up to the polls did so with a specific purpose in mind.

Voter Nathaniel Robinson said he’s particularly invested in New York’s gubernatorial race between incumbent Gov. Kathy Hochul and Long Island Republican U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin. He told the Bronx Times he’s voting for Hochul in an effort to try to ensure abortion access in New York. 

“I’m for women making their own choice with their own bodies,” Robinson said. “I do have a bunch of sisters and everything, so I think their choice and their decision is their decision, not (something) that has to be mandated from the state or from the governor.” 

Christina Cuebas voted at her polling site in Manhattan earlier today, before her shift at the NYCHA Fort Independence Senior Center in the Bronx as a caretaker. She said that public safety was one of the major issues that compelled her to get out and vote.

In Spanish, Cuebas told the Bronx Times she wants the police to return to the way they used to be — for them to address the problems on the trains, for them to do something about the motorcycles and scooters and the robberies and the overall delinquency. 

One man at the Holy Family School polling site in Parkchester — who asked to remain anonymous — said he usually always votes for Democrats but is considering voting Republican this election because he’s concerned about income insecurity and inflation, which he said Hochul hasn’t been addressing adequately.

“Life is too expensive, so this administration, I believe, they’re not doing very well,” the voter said. “We are poor people … so we need to go down on the price.”

Holy Family School reported a total of 154 ballots by 3 p.m. Tuesday. 

Though most races for Congress and the state Legislature on Bronx ballots are not expected to be competitive, this year’s race for governor is expected to be much closer than Democrats would like. For example, FiveThirtyEight found that as of MondayHochul had just a 7.8-point average lead over Zeldin.

Rounding out the statewide races are state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli and Attorney General Letitia James facing off against Republican challengers Paul Rodriguez of Brooklyn and Queens native Michael Henry, respectively.

In Congress, a total of 35 seats in the Senate are up for election – 12 Democratic seats and 23 Republican seats – in 2022. Democrats control the 50-50 chamber by virtue of Vice President Kamala Harris’ tiebreaking vote.

NYC voters also have the opportunity to take their pick on various ballot measures

Ballot propositions

1. The state bond act for climate resiliency and pollution

Voting yes authorizes the state to seek $4.2 billion by issuing bonds, with the money being divided up into several large buckets of spending over five to 10 years:

  • $1.5 billion for pollution reduction; wetland protection; retrofitting; green energy projects; zero-emission school bus fleets; and urban forestry programs.
  • $1.1 billion for shoreline restoration; safeguarding flood-prone infrastructure; and ecological restoration programs.
  • $650 million for land and fish hatchery conservation.
  • $650 million for sewage infrastructure; reducing storm and agricultural runoff; and addressing algae blooms.

2. Adding a new preamble to the city charter

Voting yes would authorize city government to amend its charter — its basic rulebook — to include a preamble that emphasizes the city’s commitment to diversity.

3. Creating a new city office of racial equity

Voting yes would allow the city to create a mayoral office of racial equity, as well as require a series of biennial reports on racial equity from that office and each city agency. The initiative would also create a permanent Commission on Racial Equity that would offer input on city planning and policy.

4. Requiring the city to measure the “true” cost of city life

Voting yes would require the city to develop a new metric to inform policymaking: tabulating the “true cost of living” for New York City. Such a metric would not take into account public or private assistance, such as housing vouchers, and consider “housing, child care, child and dependent expenses, food, transportation, healthcare, clothing, general hygiene products, cleaning products, household items, telephone service, and internet service.”

Early voting

About 9.14% of active voters registered citywide, or 432,634 people, showed up to vote early from Oct. 29-Nov. 6, according to city Board of Elections data. In Manhattan, 133,618 people hit the polls early, which is 13.44% of the active voting population in the borough.

While Staten Island only saw 35,868 voters at the polls early, that figure represents 11.57% of Richmond County’s active voting population.

The Bronx had a few thousand more voters show up than Staten Island with 39,069 early voters, but that figure represents just 5.35% of the active voting population in the northernmost borough.

The following races appear on Tuesday’s election ballot:

Governor

Incumbent: Kathy Hochul (Democrat)
Challenger: Lee Zeldin (Republican)

State Comptroller

Incumbent: Thomas DiNapoli (Democrat)
Challenger: Paul Rodriguez (Republican)

Attorney General

Incumbent: Letitia James (Democrat)
Challenger: Michael Henry (Republican)

 

U.S. Senate

Incumbent: Chuck Schumer (Democrat)
Challengers: Joe Pinion(Conservative party); Dane Care (Independent)

 

U.S House of Representatives

13th Congressional District

Incumbent: Adriano Espaillat (Democrat)
Challenger: Odell Patterson (Independent)

14th Congressional District

Incumbent: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Democrat)
Challengers: Tina Forte (Republican), Desi Cuellar (Conservative)

15th Congressional District 

Incumbent: Ritchie Torres (Democrat)
Challenger: Stylo A. Sapaskis (Republican)

16th Congressional District 

Incumbent: Jamaal Bowman (Democrat)
Challenger: Dr. Miriam Levitt Flisser (Republican)

 

State Senate

31st Senatorial District

Incumbent: Robert Jackson (Democrat)
Challenger: Donald Skinner (Republican)

32nd State Senatorial District

Incumbent: Luis Sepúlveda (Democrat)
Challengers: Antonio Melendez Sr. (Republican), Dion Powell (Conservative)

34th State Senatorial District 

Challengers: Nathalia Fernandez (Democrat); Samantha Zherka (Republican)
This is an open seat

33rd and 35th State Senatorial districts 

Winners: Gustavo Rivera, the 33rd Senate District incumbent, and Jamaal Bailey, 35th Senate District incumbent, ran unopposed in the general election.

 

State Assembly

77th Assembly District

Incumbent: Latoya Joyner (Democrat)
Challenger: Tanya Carmichael (Republican)

78th Assembly District

Challengers: George Alvarez (Democrat), Michael Dister (Republican)
This is an open seat

79th Assembly District

Incumbent: Chantel Jackson (Democrat)
Challenger: Richard Bryan (Republican)

80th Assembly District

Challengers: John Zaccaro Jr. (Democrat); Phyllis Nastasio (Republican)
This is an open seat

81st Assembly District

Incumbent: Jeffrey Dinowitz (Democrat)
Challengers: Jessica Altagracia Woolford (Working Families); Kevin Pazmino (Conservative Party)

82nd Assembly District

Incumbent: Michael Benedetto (Democrat)
Challenger: John Greaney (Republican)

83rd Assembly District

Incumbent: Carl Heastie (Democrat)
Challenger: Tristann Davis (Republican)

84th Assembly District

Incumbent: Amanda Septimo (Democrat)
Challenger: Rosaline Nieves (Republican)

85th Assembly District

Incumbent: Kenneth Burgos (Democrat)
Challenger: Laurine Berry (Republican)

86th Assembly District

Incumbent: Yudelka Tapia (Democrat)
Challenger: Betty Obregon (Republican)

87th Assembly District

Incumbent: Karines Reyes (Democrat)
Challenger: Ariel Rivera-Diaz (Republican)

 

— Camille Botello, Aliya Schneider and ET Rodriguez contributed to this report. 

Check back with us all day for Election Day updates. And for more coverage, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @bronxtimes

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