ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) – Early voting kicked off in New York State on Saturday, October 24. Monroe County residents could be seen in long lines as they waited to cast their ballots for the presidential election.
Residents said a chilly morning did not stop them from coming out and casting their vote. “I got here around 9:30 a.m. in the morning, I have my hot cup of coffee,” said Thomas Moore, a voter.
Some voters say while it looks intimidating – time goes by faster than you think. “We enjoy the outdoors, so far it’s been good experience, the line is moving relatively quickly,” said Tammy Drollette, another voter.
“You see the line you may want to turn around, but the line is moving very good here,” said Moore.
Monroe County Board of Elections Republican Commissioner Lisa Nicolay said long lines could be attributed to a few things: a combination of this particular election year, the limit to people inside the site and sanitizing after each voter. She said once people actually get inside to vote, it’s a quick process.
“We have limited people indoors, we’re pushing them through quickly, the sign in process is electronic now so it’s moving through quickly, then it’s up to them to take their time to fill out their ballot and it’s out the door,” said Nicolay.
She said the preparation process has been similar to election day, with everyone still keeping the pandemic in mind. “It has been challenging finding places that will allow us to be there, and then in between that trying to make sure everything is safe and clean between each voter,” she said.
Nicolay said if someone wants to drop off their absentee ballot, that does not require standing in line or interacting with anybody – there are boxes located at each site for you to quickly come up and drop it off.
On day one alone, Monroe County reported a total of 9,503 voters participated – that’s 1% of the voter population. The most popular sites were Perinton Square Mall, and SUNY Empire State College: each saw over 1,000 voters.
To view locations for early voting click here.