Early voting begins Saturday

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BUFFALO, NY (WIVB) It’s something that 37 states have already offered, but New York State residents will have an early voting option for the first time beginning on Saturday and lasting for nine days.

Erie County’s 580,000 registered voters will have the option of walking into any one of 37 early voting sites and simply telling the polling inspector your name, according to Jessica Overholt, of the Erie County Board of Elections. “The poll worker will then enter your name, so instead of flipping through the paper poll book, they will now simply type in the name of the voter.”

Once your name pops up, you sign a touchscreen with your finger or a stylus, and then your specific ballot for where you live prints out. “And they shouldn’t be concerned about the poll book sign in<‘ said Jeremy Zellner, a commissioner for the Erie County Board of Elections. “We will always have a paper trail. They’re gonna vote the same way they always do with a paper ballot and put it in the same exact machines.”

Every town in Erie County will have at least one early voting site, including the Board of Elections headquarters at 134 West Eagle Street, downtown. “If you live in the southtowns and you work downtown, you can vote at the Board, you can stop in Hamburg on the way home, you can stop in Evans on the way home,” said Zellner. “We wanted to make it so any barriers people had to voting will be eliminated.”

Most of the early voting sites are community centers and senior centers. A complete list of the 37 sites can be found on the Erie County Board of Elections website. Early voting is available on weekends from noon to 6 pm and weekdays from noon to 9 pm. until Sunday November 3rd, then there’s one down day before Election Day.

None of the election results are going to be read until 9 p.m. on Election Day, according to Ralph Mohr, a commissioner with the Erie County Board of Elections. “Each of the chips from the voting tabulators together with the ballots are going to be locked up and kept in separate locations. You will be prohibited from going from site to site. We’re going to stop any attempts at double voting.”

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