SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – People filed in and out of the Armond Magnarelli Community Center at McChesney Park Monday morning, eager to have their voices heard. Early voting began this past weekend in Central New York, and people didn’t waste time getting to the polls.
“I just really wanted to make sure my vote would be counted, because I don’t have that much trust that things are going to go smoothly,” Early Voter Lauren Calabrese said. “I figured getting it in early would give it the best chance for it to actually get counted and matter.”
Calabrese wasn’t the only one with the idea of getting it done early. The number of ballots cast have kept Onondaga County Democratic Elections Commissioner Dustin Czarny busy.
“We’re averaging about 1,000 voters an hour this weekend and already starting today,” he said. “It’s wonderful. It’s a tremendous, overwhelming response to early voting. On top of the 30,000 – 40,000 absentee ballots we’ve already received.”
More people voted over the weekend than in the first nine days of early voting last year. 9,800 people voted in the first two days, compared to 8,500 total early votes in 2019.
“2020 was a year that everybody has had circled on their calendar from every side of the equation since 2016,” Czarny said. “We’ve seen increases in registration and voter participation in the last three years as well. So this is the grand-daddy of them all, and I think it’s the biggest most important election of our lifetime.”
Of the 308,000 people eligible to vote in Onondaga County, 46,400 have already voted. The county plans to handle demand by opening polling sites at 8 a.m. on the weekends, two hours earlier than usual.
There are six different early voting places throughout Onondaga County open for people to cast their ballots. Early voting is open through Nov. 1 in New York. The last day for voters to register for their absentee ballot by mail, email, phone or fax is Tuesday, Oct. 27. People may apply for one after that by going to your local county Board of Elections through Nov. 2.
Onondaga County Early Polling Sites:
- Camillus Fire Station (rear entrance), 5801 Newport Road, Camillus
- Clay Town Hall Courtroom, 4401 Route 31, Clay
- DeWitt Town Hall Courtroom, 5400 Butternut Drive, East Syracuse
- LaFayette Fire Station #1 (rear entrance), 2444 Route 11 S., LaFayette
- Armond Magnarelli Community Center at McChesney Park, 2300 Grant Blvd., Syracuse
- Syracuse Community Connection (Syracuse Community Center), 401-425 South Ave., Syracuse