Early voting ushers in final week of election

Above, Oswego County voters wait for the Board of Elections to open on Saturday afternoon for the first day of statewide early voting. Official said 582 people cast a ballot Saturday and 635 on Sunday. It was the second year of  New York’s in-person early voting, but the first in which Congress or a presidency is contested.

More than 1,000 Oswego County ballots cast between Saturday and Sunday as campaigns crescendo

OSWEGO — In-person voting began across New York state and in Oswego County this weekend with long lines building as polling stations were flooded with people who simply couldn’t wait another moment to cast a ballot.

A line of largely cheerful and calm voters stretched from the front door of the Oswego County Board of Elections several blocks down East Seneca Street both Saturday and Sunday. Early reports from board officials showed 582 ballots cast on Saturday and 635 cast on Sunday.

While New York and its 29 electoral votes are forecasted to be solidly behind former Vice President Joe Biden in the top-of-the-ticket matchup against President Donald Trump (a New Yorker by birth), local races for Congress and the New York Legislature are also energizing Oswego County voters for one of the hardest-run elections in recent memory.

The statewide total Saturday was also nearly double the total of the nine early-voting days in the June primaries, with an unofficial count of 211,898, according to the state Board of Elections. Early voting continues until Nov. 1.

In Syracuse, voters lined up down the block outside a polling site at a community center Sunday morning. Dustin Czarny, Onondaga County elections commissioner, said 8,473 of the county’s 328,052 registered voters had checked in to the polls as of 1:45 p.m. Sunday, surpassing the total votes on the first year of early voting in New York in 2019.

“I heard that there was a tremendous number of people voting, which is very exciting,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday morning.

In Albany County, 3,472 of the county’s 175,000 registered voters cast ballots on Saturday, according to the county board of elections. Schenectady County said nearly 3,000 of the county’s 99,000 active registered voters cast ballots Saturday.

“Other than seeing some long lines, we did not have any reports of any major issues,” Beth Garvey, special counsel and senior advisor to Cuomo, said at midday Sunday.

In western New York, the Erie County Board of Elections reported that nearly 15,000 ballots were cast on the first day of early voting on Saturday, or 2.3 percent of the county’s registered voters. The Monroe County Board of Elections reported 9,503 voters cast their ballots Saturday.

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