early voting

Early voting continues to set records in Monroe County. The Board of Elections says that on Thursday, the sixth day of early voting in New York state, 14,310 voters cast ballots in Monroe County, the largest one-day total in the county so far.

The total number of voters who have participated in early voting so far represents 13% of all registered voters. Early voting continues on Friday and runs through Sunday (times and polling locations are below).

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It was another day of very busy early voting on Wednesday at the dozen sites available in Monroe County.

Board of Elections officials say that 12,559 voters cast ballots on Wednesday. Combined with the turnout since Saturday, when early voting started, the early vote has now totaled 10% of the total amount of voters in Monroe County.

Early voting continues through Sunday, Nov. 1 (a list of polling places and times is below), in advance of the general election which is Tuesday, Nov. 3.

The Monroe County Board of Elections reported another record turnout for early voting Tuesday.

Officials said that 14,122 voters cast ballots, which is 8% of the total number of registered voters.

“Voters continue to amaze and impress us with their level of participation and enthusiasm during Early Voting," said Democratic Elections Commissioner Jackie Ortiz. "We continue to encourage all voters to take advantage of the convenience Early Voting provides to all voters, especially now during this pandemic."

Max Schulte / WXXI News

Early voting began in New York state on Saturday, and continues through Nov. 1,  two days before Election Day.

There were long lines when polls opened at 9 a.m.

Alex Crichton

Voters in the Rochester area getting absentee ballots in the mail may also be getting a campaign mailer from candidates asking for their absentee vote.

Monroe County Republican Elections Commissioner Lisa Nicolay said it’s perfectly legal for candidates to know who is requesting an absentee ballot.

With Gov. Andrew Cuomo signing legislation that will open up the process for requesting absentee ballots for the fall election, local boards of election are expected to get many more of those types of ballots than in past years.

Now, if you have a concern about an outbreak, including the coronavirus, you are eligible to get an absentee ballot.

The June 23 primary was the first in New York to allow all voters the option of casting their ballots by mail. Under an executive order by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, registered voters could cite the COVID-19 pandemic as a reason for filling out an absentee ballot.

The New York State Legislature held a hearing Tuesday on the primary elections to find out what went right and what went wrong.

James Brown / WXXI News

Last month, state elections officials canceled the Democratic presidential primary, citing concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres ruled that the primary must happen on June 23. 

It's the latest shift in an unusual election season, leaving Board of Elections officials like LaShana Boose scrambling to adapt.

With a little over a month before early voting starts, Boose said the board was already planning to send out absentee ballot applications to all registered voters as a result of an executive order from Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The state's first-ever early balloting period started Saturday. Voters can cast votes at select polling locations until Nov 3, instead of waiting until Election Day, Nov. 5.

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul was expected to vote Saturday in Buffalo. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who signed legislation in January authorizing early voting, hasn't said if he'll vote in the early period, or on Election Day.

New York is a latecomer to early voting. All but 12 states already had it. Advocates hope expanded ballot box access will increase turnout.

New York’s first-ever early voting begins Saturday and runs through Sunday, Nov. 3.

The new system is a little wobbly -- and may be a little confusing. WXXI Albany Correspondent Karen DeWitt sat down recently with the League of Women Voter’s Laura Ladd Bierman to help explain how it will work. Click on the LISTEN link above to hear the interview.

In Monroe County, here's where you can find early voting polling sites: