Early voting starts, turnout larger than anticipated

Early voting starts, turnout larger than anticipated

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - If you drove past the Jefferson County office building Saturday between 9 AM-2 PM, you probably saw a line compiling outside.

Well that line didn’t stop at the front door.

It extended into the hallway on the first floor and up the stairs to the second floor where Jefferson County residents waited to cast their vote.

“I think it’s fantastic. I think you are doing a good service. I feel more people should come out anyway and not make excuses not to vote,” said early voter Margaret Bullard.

Election officials say this turnout is well beyond what they were expecting, but they are excited to see so many people coming out to vote.

“Of course, we don’t want people to wait in lines. But coming and seeing the lines, it shows how excited people are to come out and vote and that enthusiasm, it’s exhilarating, it’s great, its fantastic,” said Michelle Lafave, Democratic Commissioner for Jefferson Board of Elections.

Lafave says the early voting process has no changes even during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Once you receive your ballot, you walk over to the voting box and drop it off into the scanner to be counted on election night.

The only difference you may see is the poll workers disinfecting the stations after every ballot is cast.

And of course, the lines.

Kalim Alcover had been waiting for about 30 minutes when we talked to him. He says waiting wasn’t an issue, because the line shows how important this election is to so many.

“Well, it’s great that people are paying attention. It’s great that people actually have a voice and say if ‘I don’t like something, I have the power to change it’ and to let officials know what we want,” said Kalim Alcover.

In Lewis County, early voting will take place at the Lowville Town and Village Offices and in St. Lawrence County, it will be at the Board of Elections office in Canton.

In St. Lawrence County, Saturday morning the line to vote was out the door at the County Board of Elections building.

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