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New York’s early voting begins Saturday

RADIO.COM logo RADIO.COM 10/23/2020
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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- Beginning Saturday, New Yorkers can start voting in person.

Early voting will run until Nov. 1 at polling places in every county.

This is the second general election and first high-turnout election with early voting.

John Conklin, of the New York State Board of Elections, tells WCBS 880 that he thinks they're ready.

Last fall, 2% of votes were cast early. This year will be a whole new ball game.

"I'm not really sure what to expect," Conklin said.

There are 287 early polling places statewide, up from 30 last fall, he said.

The votes will be cast early, but not counted early.

"Those votes will all be tallied on election night, just before the polls close," Conklin said.

On Long Island, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran says there are 15 early voting sites, and all residents should take advantage of them.

"In Nassau County, if you live on the south shore, but you work on the north shore you want to vote on the north shore you can do that," Curran said.

Early voting became legal in New York State last year.

James Scheuerman, the Democratic Commissioner of the Board Of Elections, says early voting will be just as safe as voting on Election Day and they have the support of local police.

"We have been meeting with law enforcement. The police department is with us on Election Day as well, so if there's any issues at the poll site with voter intimidation or anybody within the hundred-foot marker, the police will respond accordingly," he explains.

He also says mass will be given out to those who show up to vote without wearing one.

Scheuerman also says there is no lack of polling workers for the early voting sites as safety is their number one priority.

"I'm very happy that no that was the first time we had our election is pandemic was in our June primary, many folks have decided to come back and work again, so I feel like, I think, we did a good job and provided a safe environment for all our poll workers, employees and inspectors," he said.

Close to 8 million voters are expected to vote early in New York State, although some will wait until Election Day on Nov. 3.

Conklin expects there will be lines the first few days of early voting.

Amid COVID concerns, crowds will be dispersed, and equipment will be disinfected throughout the day.

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