How the north country fared during early voting

wwny How the north country fared during early voting

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Early voting has now concluded. It was the first time New York state participated and elections officials say there was a modest bump in voter turnout.

More than 1,500 people across the north country area have already voted.

"It's literally our first year so we had no idea what to expect," said Jude Seymour, Republican commissioner for the Jefferson County Board of Elections.

After 9 days of early voting, the totals are in.

"We had 725 early voters and that's great," said Babette Hall, Democratic commissioner for the Jefferson County Board of Elections.

That's 725 ballots in Jefferson County; 346 of those votes are from the city of Watertown.

In St. Lawrence County, 637 people came to the polls before Election Day, while 321 voters cast their ballot early in Lewis County. All of these numbers represent 1 to 2 percent of the registered voter population in each county.

"I was surprised. Late days didn't seem to work, weekends didn't seem to work, 9 to 5's seemed to work really well," said Seymour.

Jefferson County elections commissioners say about a third of people who voted early did not vote in the last off year election in 2017. Lewis County also saw a hike in off year election voters. As of now, it is unclear if early voting made a difference in St. Lawrence County.

"Things went good even with our new electronic poll books," said Hall.

And how will we get these results? All three counties will be reporting early voting results with the rest of the results on election night. For now the Jefferson County ballots will be stored away here, behind a double locked door only the elections commissioners can open.

"These will be our first results that we post at 9 o'clock. So we don't know what the results are yet, we aren't allowed to know what the results are yet, we are going to figure that out on election night and then we will be publishing those results, so they will be part of the election night fun. You know, their vote will already be counted," said Seymour.

Elections officials say early voting totals are a good kickoff for what's to come Tuesday.

As for absentee ballots, a majority of them have been returned in all three counties, and will be counted in about a week. In elections, however, they don’t tend to make a difference in the outcome.

Copyright 2019 WWNY. All rights reserved.