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Mail-in ballots exceed in-person voting locally, pour into Erie County Board of Elections

Ryan Zunner/WBFO News
Board of Elections staff scan a grouping of envelopes for counting, as the county has seen a surge in mail-in voting amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made the electoral process a bit different this year for some, but Erie County’s Board of Elections has been hard at work ensuring every vote is counted, no matter how or where you voted.

A freight elevator brought up large carts of mail-in ballots, while a machine counted the envelopes before they’re sorted.  Ralph Mohr, the Republican Board of Elections commissioner, said while it’s a more time consuming process this year, his staff has been prepared for the task.

“We’re going to follow the same procedure we do with every election, it’s just going to be a lot more volume involved,” Mohr said. “In Erie County we had all our early voting sites open, which were most out of any in the state, and we had all our poll sites open.”

While the amount of mail-in ballots are being counted and sorted through, votes won’t actually be counted until two weeks from now, when military and other postmarked ballots are fully received.

Chris Jacobs has already declared a mathematical victory for New York’s 27th Congressional seat, which at least in Erie County, Mohr said isn’t really the case.

“It would be mathematically possible, although very improbable, that Nate McMurray would be able to overcome the lead that Chris Jacobs has built up. However this is an election in which the mail-in ballots exceeded the number of individuals who appeared on Election Day at the polls,” Mohr said on the status of the NY-27 race, which will ultimately be certified by the state.

Nationwide concerns over mail-in voter fraud, including from the president, has yet to be seen in Erie County according to Mohr, who says the amount of checks and balances in place will ensure an accurate election.

Ryan Zunner joined WBFO in the summer of 2018 as an intern, before working his way up to reporter the following summer.
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