Election Day looked different this year. Photos from the 2018 midterm elections just two years ago contain scenes glaringly missing from Tuesday: crowded poll sites, tightly packed voter lines and candidates hugging at celebration parties, to name a few. In 2020, voting meant a lot more hand sanitizer, face masks and waiting outside.

Still, the COVID-19 pandemic did not stop New Yorkers from turning up to vote: 1.1. million residents voted early before the election, 1.2 million turned out in person on Tuesday while another
1.1 million people requested absentee ballots, NYC Deputy Mayor J. Phillip Thompson said at a press briefing Tuesday.

“We’re waiting to see how many of those are returned, but yesterday could equal or surpass the highest turnout we’ve ever had in a presidential election in New York City,” he said. “And this is during the pandemic, which meant that people had to take extra precautions. It shows how much New Yorkers care about our democracy.”

City Limits’ reporting team was fanned out Tuesday visiting poll sites on Staten Island and in south Brooklyn, home to competitive Congressional and State Senate races this year. Here are some scenes from throughout the day.

Photos by Adi Talwar, Nicole Javorsky and Daniel Parra.