ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers took part in the state’s first early voting period for a presidential election, which began this past weekend. Many locations saw long lines as people were eager to participate. The State Board of Elections says that about 422,000 people cast their ballot, and Sunday saw a bit more voters statewide than Saturday.
“I think, certainly, there is lots of enthusiasm around early voting; I think there was definitely a rush for Saturday and Sunday,” said NYS Board of Elections Director of Public Information John Conklin.
Conklin says his advice to early voters is to try to make a plan and figure out when your poll site might be less busy.
“There’s not a lot we can do to change the capacity for early voting. Early voting is never intended to be a substitute for Election Day. It’s always basically a smaller version of Election Day. So we have fewer hours and fewer staff and fewer locations, but that’s always been by design,” Conklin said.
He says that the Board of Elections is doing “the best that [it] can given the circumstances” and that “maybe the legislature will re-evaluate” additional resources for early voting in the future. The greatest number of poll sites are open on Election Day itself.
“There’ll be over 5,000 poll sites open. The Election Day will run from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., so there’s 15 hours of voting and the most number of poll sites available for voters to come out if they haven’t already done early voting or absentee voting,” Conklin said.
Early voting runs through Sunday, November 1. General Election Day is Tuesday, November 3, which is also the last day to mail or drop off an absentee ballot.
For early voting and election day, anyone who is still in line when the poll site closes will be allowed to vote.