BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — “If you’re coming to vote, vote quickly — get out and stay apart,” remarked Jeremy Zellner, democratic election commissioner, Erie County Board of Elections.
Election officials say polling places will be ready and safe for voters in Tuesday’s historic election.
Nearly 40-percent of registered voters in Erie County already cast their ballots in early voting, but Zellner said they are expecting large voter turn out on Election Day.
“We’re still gonna have a lot of people coming to the polls because of the sheer volume of our voters and — the excitement for this election,” said Zellner. “And if things go as they did for early voting, Eileen — we're going to have a great Election Day.”
They are asking people for their cooperation during the pandemic, to wear masks and make sure they stay socially distant.
Both republican and democratic election inspectors will be at polling sites across Erie County making sure safety measures are in place for voters.
“All of our equipment is sanitized by the inspectors and all of our inspectors have PPE and they have hand sanitizer at each location,” Zellner explained.
Election leaders are expecting polling sites to be busy, and especially concentrated in suburban areas, like Orchard Park and Hamburg because of the NY-27 Congressional race, as well as races for state assembly and senate.
“There’s some activity in Lancaster, Cheektowaga and Amherst as well and the town of Tonawanda, so the inner-ring suburbs are going to have a lot of activity,” Zellner noted.
Erie County Board of Elections workers were busy Monday assisting voters arriving with absentee ballots.
Michelle Seay of Buffalo works at ECMC. She was picking up a batch of absentee ballots for patients so they wouldn't miss out on this historic election.
“Your vote matters and patients feel that they have enough they're going through dealing with their crisis they're dealing with and if we can just take as a hospital take one thing off their table — that they don't have to worry about — it just makes us feel better,” Seay noted.
Karl English of Buffalo and his mom also appeared in line at the Board of Elections to submit absentee ballots.
English is an R.I.T. student in Rochester and he says he wants to make sure his voice is heard and his vote counted.
“Is this your first presidential election?” Buckley asked. “Yeah — it's my first presidential election, so it's pretty excited and I definitely don't want to miss my vote — so definitely want to cast it today,” declared English.
“Do you truly feel that your voice counts?” questioned Buckley. “I truly feel my voice counts, so many of my ancestors and people that fought to make sure the voice counts,” replied English.
The Board of Elections has all the polling sites throughout Erie County listed on its website.
If voters have any issues at their polling sites, they are asked to contact the BOE at 716-858-8891.
Polls in Erie County open at 6 a.m. Tuesday and close at 9 p.m., then it all comes down to the voters voices.