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Nearly 5,000 Erie County residents take advantage of early voting

Michael Mroziak
A voter signs in on an electronic pad, as an inspector reviews.

Nearly 5,000 residents of Erie County took advantage of New York's new system of early voting over the weekend.

Across the county, in 37 different locations, voters had the chance to cast their ballots and not wait until Election Day, Nov. 3.

Democratic Elections Commissioner Jeremy Zellner said there has not been a lot of time to analyze who voted, but said he was impressed at the turnout in the wet, windy weather.

"It appears that people are liking the early voting, are liking to get this over with and get out there and cast their vote and not have to worry about it on Election Day," Zellner said. "Lot of the people we're hearing, anecdotally, are saying it's about time that we've got this in New York State. A lot of people are going out of town over the coming weeks and want to make sure they cast their ballot in person, as well."

Sue Domres voted Sunday at the Kenmore Municipal Building, saying Sunday gave her the chance with easy parking outside. Domres said a citizen should vote.

"I'm just a citizen. I worked on one campaign a long time ago, but, no, I'm not like a political junkie. I like watching CNN, I like watching MSNBC, but I just do it because it's my duty," Domres said.

Joseph Moreno spent nine years in the Marine Corps and also voted in Kenmore.

"There's no excuse. There's no excuse - period," Moreno said. "Any veteran, any man or woman that wore a uniform should be voting, but that also goes for civilians."

Boyce Lattimore was at the Delavan-Grider Community Center, extending his 60 years of voting. Lattimore said he tells multiple generations of his family of growing up in the Jim Crow South, where voting by people of color was discouraged, and he tells his family they have to vote.

Early voting goes on in every county, under the new state law and each county can decide how many polling places to have. Erie County has almost as many early voting sites as New York City, while Niagara County has two sites and Chautauqua County has three.

On Election Day, voting will revert to a paper-based system.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.
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