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Election Day 2020: Polling sites in Manhattan not very crowded

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In the lead-up to Tuesday, Election Day, there were numerous reports of absurdly long lines at polling stations across New York City.

I had the opportunity today to explore Manhattan and visit some of its polling sites.

What I found was that, during the daytime, there were zero people waiting in line at nearly all the locations that I was able to visit, with the few exceptions only having two or three voters waiting in line. This, however, was very likely due to it being before 5pm, the time when people typically get off work and school, and the fact that New York was very aggressive in urging people to vote early.

My time being limited, the parts of town that I visited were Midtown East, the area south of Washington Square Park, the area north of WSP but south of Union Square, and then the edge of East Harlem and the Upper East Side. I recognize that the situation in these areas of the city may likely not reflect the situation in other parts of the city, especially the outer boroughs where the electorate is more racially diverse.

RELATED: Election Day 2020: What are we seeing from make or break states?

I let some time pass after 5pm to see if any long lines formed at polling stations. What I found baffled me.

At every single site I visited in the evening, there were zero voters in line. Every single one of them. When I inquired about the situation throughout all of today, they all had the same answer: There were extremely few voters that came.

When I asked why they thought fewer people showed up today, each of them came to the conclusion that so many New Yorkers chose to vote early. More likely than not, this titanic amount of early voters in New York took the pressure off of polling sites today, which isn’t the most far-fetched conclusion as theories go during this wacky election cycle.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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DOJ says FBI informant on Biden had ‘high-level’ contacts with Russian intelligence

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In a memorandum filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada to support Alexander Smirnov’s continued pre-trial detention, the Department of Justice(DOJ) wrote that he claimed to have had “contacts with multiple foreign intelligence agencies…[who] could resettle Smirnov outside the United States if he were released.”

Smirnov, a dual citizen of the United States and Israel, was arrested and charged on Feb. 14 with making false statements to the FBI about Biden’s connections to the Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings Limited, which employed his son Hunter Biden as a member of the board with a monthly salary of $50,000 during his term as vice president.

“During his custodial interview on February 14, Smirnov admitted that officials associated with Russian intelligence were involved in passing a story about [Hunter Biden],” wrote special counsel David Weiss in the filing. “Smirnov apparently attended a separate meeting with Russian Official 1, [an] individual who controls groups that are engaged in overseas assassination efforts.”

The Daily Caller News Foundation reports that Smirnov was a confidential human source who provided information that was used to prepare a report, known as an FD-1023, about Joe Biden’s alleged connections to the Burisma business partners of Hunter Biden. That report has previously served as evidence contradictingJoe Biden’s claim that he knew nothing of his son’s business dealings; a notion at the center of an impeachment inquiry against him.

The FD-1023 detailing Smirnov’s claims was released by Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa on July 20, 2023, after it was provided to him by government whistleblowers. “[The] indictment confirms several points Senator Grassley has made repeatedly. The informant behind the FD-1023 was, indeed, a long-serving, trusted FBI source used by the agency for criminal investigations since the Obama administration. In fact, he was so trusted that the FBI provided him authorization ‘to engage in illegal activity for investigative purposes’,” a spokesperson for Grassley told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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