ERIE COUNTY, N.Y. (WIVB) — Thousands of voters across Erie County turned out Saturday for the first day of early voting ahead of the November 2 general election.

4,374 Erie County voters cast their ballot early in Erie County. Of that number, 2,323 ballots came from voters registered in the City of Buffalo.

Here’s a breakdown of who voted across the county by political party Saturday:

  • Democratic: 3,045
  • Republican: 929
  • Conservative: 118
  • Working Families: 24

“If you don’t vote, and things are not done the way you think they should be done, don’t blame the city or anyone else, but blame yourself,” said Thaddeus Dunn, who stopped by the Erie County Board of Elections Headquarters to vote early.

Early voting offers people are more convenient way to cast their ballot.

“I’m going out of town tomorrow and won’t be back until after the Bills play in Jacksonville and I got to vote, it’s an important election,” said Mary Honan, who voted early in South Buffalo.

“I thought I would get it done today, because it just would be finished with today instead of just waiting up until Nov. 2nd,” Buffalo resident Frank Miller said.

“I wanted to make sure that my voted counted early and take it easy and not be so rushed for next week,” Dunn said.

“It gives them a lot more flexibility if they’re out with their family, or they’re ill,” said Jeremy Zellner, who’s the Democratic Erie County Board of Elections Commissioner. “With the weather in Buffalo people want to vote early if they can make their voice heard and cast their ballot, that’s helped a lot of folks.”

Erie County Board of Election Officials say it’s unclear how early voting turnout will be, but they’re expecting it to be higher than other off-year elections.

“I think we’re going to see a larger turnout than we did 4 years ago, simply because we have a city of Buffalo Mayor’s race, that we didn’t have 4 years ago or 8 years ago,” Zellner said.

Early voting continues until October 31.

The polls reopen Sunday beginning at 12 p.m. and ending at 6 p.m.

Patrick Ryan is an award-winning reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2020. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.