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Early voting starts slow and steady in Erie County

Mike Desmond / WBFO News
Early voting was thin at the West Seneca Communityy Center Sunday.

This year's elections aren't exciting voters in Erie County the way last year's presidential election did. Board of Elections figures report just under 1,500 votes cast in the first two days of early voting.

This year there are primaries in the Democratic and Republican fights over who will be on the November ballot to replace Sheriff Tim Howard. He is not running for another term. County Legislature seats are up for election, as is the office of Buffalo mayor.

At the Delavan-Grider Community Center Sunday, there was a slow but steady array of voters, including Rev. Carver Jarmon.

"Today, I preached about, The Fight is On. So I guess that would be considered part of the voting process, the fight for justice, voting your positions," Jarmon said.

Credit Mike Desmond / WBFO News

Deborah Strickland-Brown has a family history of voting.

"I used to go when I was five years old with my Mom into the voting booth and they used to have the little pull levers and everything, and I took my daughter, same thing, when she was young. She takes her children, just to get them started, to get them comfortable with the process. So they all can be informed and then have that right to vote. I think everyone has that right to vote and that should not be altered at any time," Strickland-Brown said.

Voting is a family affair for Sandra Moss, as well.

"When I was younger and my mother used to vote, I couldn't wait to vote. When I turned 18, that was big for me, but I used to go with her. And I just couldn't wait to do it. We have to to do this. We have to do this. Our ancestors died for this. We have to," Moss said.

Credit Mike Desmond / WBFO News
There were plenty of candidates' signs at the Delavan-Grider Community Center.

The turnout in West Seneca was very thin. Republican Town Supervisor Gary Dickson voted on his way home from an out-of-town trip.

"I think in a primary, your vote in a sense counts more, because there are fewer people who participate," Dickson said. "So who knows how many people will vote in our primary and so, every single one counts."

West Seneca Republican Chair Patricia Stephens," Dickson's wife, also voted at the West Seneca Community Center.

"I vote all the time. I'm a frequent voter. So I just feel it's important. It's my right as an American to vote and feel that's the important thing to do. I want to have a voice," Stephens said.

Early voting continues through June 20. Election day is June 22.

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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