Voter turnout in Erie County off to a slow start, BoE expects it to pick up in the evening

Erie County

After a slow morning at the polls, Erie County Board of Election officials expect the polls to be busy in the evening.

“Our peak times on Election Day are usually dinner time, people come home from work and before they settle down for the night,” Erie County Republican Elections Commissioner Ralph Mohr said. “So we expect if the weather holds then that’s when we’re going to see an upturn in the election and people coming out to cast their ballots.”

Erie County Board of Election officials say early voting in New York State went better than expected, especially for the being the first year for it. According to officials 26,514 or 4.5 percent of the county’s 596,230 registered voters cast their ballot early.

“For putting such a strong plan in place, with so many sites available for people,” Erie county Democratic Elections Commissioner Jeremy Zellner said. “It was the most inclusive plan I think in the state of New York and it really showed so it’ll be interesting. We’ll see what comes next year.”

Zellner and Mohr say it’s too soon to say if early voting will help overall voter turnout, but they do have high expectations for this election.

“Well really these races impact people’s lives more than sometimes the presidential race,” Zellner said. “I think our turnout today is just going to be over 40 percent and that would actually be counted as high.”

Polls are open until 9 p.m.

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