SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – The Onondaga County Board of Elections expects increased voter turnout this year compared to previous elections.
There are over 300,000 registered voters in the county. According to Onondaga County Board of Elections Commissioner Dustin M. Czarny, that total is itself a record. The office estimates that by the time all is said and done over 50,000 of those registered voters will have voted early in person with another 60,000 having voted by mail.
The increases in registration and early vote turnout have Czarny thinking total turnout will increase, too.
“We’ve seen way more registration [this year,] and we are looking at over 130,000 to go to the polls on Election Day,” said Czarny. “All of these factors, I think, are combining for higher turnout than four years ago.”
While Czarny says in-person Election Day voting totals will be down this year, he’s confident the pandemic won’t stop people from having their voices heard.
“People want to participate more this year, and I think it’s because of the nature of the current political climate,” said Czarny. “We’ve adjusted for the virus, and even with it, there’s been such an increase [in participation.]”
Voters are not the only ones who want to participate in the county’s election process. According to Commissioner Czarny, Onondaga County has more trained poll workers for this election than ever before.
Inside of a week to go before Election Day, Czarny’s office is starting to put in place the finishing touches.
“We still have a million things to do,” said Czarny. “We’re readying up our 155 Election Day polling places around the county trying to solve any problems before they even come up.”
There are four days left in early voting across New York. To facilitate the voting process and meet the increased demand, Onondaga County is adding more hours for early voting over the weekend. Early voting centers will be open Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“We’re doing what we can to make things easier for voters,” said Czarny. “We are also making sure that we’re taking the right precautions against the virus, and more hours is helpful to practicing good social distancing.”
There are six locations scattered across the county where you can cast your early vote in person.