New York is offering early voting for the first time, and in Monroe County, seven polling places will be open starting in late October. One is within Rochester’s city limits.
But Monroe County Clerk Adam Bello said it’s not enough.
He said that when New York passed its early voting regulations earlier this year, it based state funding for the polling places on a formula that factors in registered voters in each county.
The Democrat, who is challenging Republican County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo this fall, said that Monroe County is doing the “bare minimum.” He wants at least eight more sites added and said that it’ll cost more than $200,000 to do it.
“The county executive has ignored it. The Legislature has ignored it, but today is the day that we stop ignoring this important issue,” said Bello. “Other counties are stepping to the plate to provide all these additional voting locations. Monroe County should do the same.”
County Legislator Howard Maffucci attended the news conference calling for more polling sites.
“The right to vote is the backbone of our unique system,” said Maffucci. “We should not make it hard. In my district, which consists of parts of East Rochester, Pittsford and Brighton, the closest location is in Penfield. That needs to change.”
In a statement, county spokesperson Jesse Sleezer called the idea a “cynical ploy” for attention during the campaign season. He said the polling locations were chosen in a bipartisan matter and that shouldn’t be sullied by politics.
He also said the sites were chosen in May, and since then, there had been “no inquiry to the board about increasing the number of early voting locations.”
“Today’s attack is simply a cynical ploy for some politicians to draw attention to themselves in the midst of campaign season, at a potential expense of a quarter of a million dollars for taxpayers,” he said in the statement.
Legislator Vince Felder is asking that the county Legislature vote on the funding Tuesday.
According to the Monroe County of Elections, the early voting sites are:
- Greece Town Hall, 3 Vince Tofany Blvd.
- Ogden Town Hall, 269 Ogden Center Road.
- MCC Downtown Campus, 321 State St.
- Penfield Town Hall, 3100 Atlantic Ave.
- Marketplace Mall, 1 Miracle Mile Drive.
- SUNY Empire State College, 680 Westfall Road.
- Ridge Culver Plaza, 2255 East Ridge Road.
Hours for early voting currently are:
- 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26.
- 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 27.
- 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, Oct. 28.
- Noon to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 29.
- Noon to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 30.
- 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 31.
- 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1.
- 1 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2.
- 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 3.