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High Voter Turnout Expected

By Eileen Buckley

Buffalo, NY – Erie County Board of Election officials are predicting 80-percent voter turnout today. That would set a record.

Many local voters have already cast their ballot for the 2004 election. They headed to the polls in the early morning hours.

Republican County Election Commissioner Ralph Mohr said voter turnout was very heavy this morning.

"We have seen probably the heaviest turn out we have witnessed in several decades," said Mohr. "I think that our prediction that this may be the heaviest turnout in Erie County history will probably come true."

There were a couple of minor glitches at two voting districts earlier today. Mohr said they had problems with a machine at a polling place in the Town of Alden.

"But the location had two voting machines, so everyone was still able to vote. We since repaired the other machine and now people are voting on both machines," said Mohr.

Democratic election commissioner Laurence Adamczyk said a voting booth also malfunctioned at a polling place in Buffalo's Fillmore district.

"One of the levers that the voter pulls broke. That can happen at any given time," said Adamczyk. "As I said, we only had one replacement this morning. That's pretty good. We had movers on stand by and it was replaced with in twenty minutes. So that is pretty good."

But both election leaders downplayed the problems. They said it is not unusual to encounter some troubles at start of voting.

There are about 4,000 Democratic and Republican inspectors working a polling places throughout Erie County today.