Early voting across Mo. Co. starts off strong

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Both sides of the aisle say voting is off to a good start in Monroe County. Across the county, there were just about 8,000 voters who cast an early ballot over the weekend. Early voting in Monroe County stretches for nine days across 14 locations.

We asked our local voting commissioners a list of questions about turnout and what they may be hearing from people at the polls. Election leaders say early voting got off to a great start, and are expecting a higher percentage of voters for the governor’s race.

“This year for the gubernatorial election people are excited and invigorated. I think it’s going to be high 60% or 70%, which is still fantastic,” Monroe County Republican BOE Commissioner, Lisa Nicolay said.

“There are always normal challenges that we go through, but I would say things are going pretty smooth,” Monroe County Democratic BOE Commissioner,  Jackie Ortiz said.

We spoke to some voters who said they feel this election for New York is very important based on issues like abortion and bail reform. We asked our voting commissioners if they felt that from voters.

“I’m sure on a personal level, they all have their preferences and things that they’re feeling but when we come in here, it’s all about assisting the voters and putting those things aside to handle our administrative obligations,” Ortiz said.

“I would say probably because of the congressional races contested for the first time in a while, with an actual, really good both candidates, same with the governor’s race. I think they didn’t think it was going to be as exciting,” Nicolay added.

Both red and blue agree there is always room to improve voter turnout.

“But, honestly most of voter turnout is developed because of the candidates, whether it’s on a bigger scale or a smaller scale, I think people come out to vote on who the candidates are,” Nicolay said.

“We’ve been doing a lot more communication not just traditional media but to get out to the neighborhood groups,” Ortiz added.

If you want to get out for early voting, here is a list of 14 polling sites across the county.