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Hundreds take part in early voting in Erie County

All registered voters can vote via absentee ballot
Posted at 11:46 PM, Jun 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-14 20:46:17-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Early voting begins on Saturday, June 13th for New York State's primary. Additionally, due to COVID-19, all registered voters can submit absentee ballots.

Erie County Board of Elections commissioners Ralph M. Mohr and Jeremy J. Zellner announced Sunday evening that 658 voters cast ballots on the first two days of early voting for the Tuesday, June 23 primary and special elections.

Early voters can attend any one of Erie County's 37 polling sites, regardless of what's closest to their home. Weekend hours are 12pm-6pm, and weekday hours are 12pm-9pm, according to the Erie County Board of Elections. New York allowed early voting in 2019.

The Board of Elections says social distancing will be enforced at the polls, and voters are asked to wear masks.

Another option this year is absentee ballots, available to all registered voters.

"It's an unprecedented time for us, we're processing five times more ballots than we ever have in the history of the board," said Jeremy Zellner, the Erie County Board of Elections Democratic Commissioner.

You can apply for one here, until Tuesday. The ballots have to be postmarked by election day. The Board of Elections says its received more than 100,000 absentee ballot requests so far. Ralph Mohr, the Erie County Board of Elections Republican Commissioner, said the previous record is about 26,000.

"Hopefully that will take some of the stress and the lines off the early voting sites, and on Election Day as well," he said.

Voter registration for the primary has ended.