DEWITT, N.Y. (NCC News) – Election Day is less than a week away, and voters in Onondaga County are already able to cast their ballot. Early voting began in the county last weekend across six different early voting sites. So far, voters have been very appreciative of the opportunity to vote at a time most convenient for them.
“It’s an important thing, and I thought I didn’t want to wait until Election Day which is the last minute,” said Susan Reilly, an early voter waiting to vote outside DeWitt Town Hall on Tuesday. “I just wanted to get it taken care of.”
Other voters also said that they were voting early in case unforeseen circumstances popped up on Election Day.
“You never know what’s going to happen in the next couple weeks,” Alicia Titus said. “I have children who are in the schools, and if someone gets quarantined, we don’t want to have to worry about not being able to vote on Election Day.”
Some early voters even said they chose to vote early because they were going to be busy on Election Day itself.
“I’m voting today because next week I have to work, so this makes it convenient for me,” Patrise Carpenter said.
There has been high turnout for early voting so far, and that has caused long lines. However, voters have not been particularly bothered by the wait.
“It’s something that we need to do,” Carpenter said. “You come out and stand in line and make it count.”
The Onondaga County elections commissioner, Dustin Czarny (D), said that he has been pleased with how early voting has gone in the county so far.
“Nobody likes standing in long lines, but they’ve been happy the lines have been moving,” Czarny said. “We haven’t had any technical issues so the people that are there are enthusiastic and they want to get this done, and they’re happy to vote and they’re happy to have their vote count.”
Czarny also said that if the current pace of early voting continues through the end of the early voting period on Nov. 1, Onondaga County could see about 60,000 votes cast early. Czarny said that in future elections, he hopes the county will establish more early voting sites to handle the high turnout.
In the meantime, Onondaga County is extending hours for early voting over the weekend. On Saturday and Sunday, polls will open at 8 a.m. instead of at 10 a.m. as previously scheduled.
Voters can find a list of early voting sites in Onondaga County on the Onondaga County Board of Elections website.