Early voting turnout strong in run-up to Election Day
Early voting continues through the weekend in Onondaga County, and its proving to be a popular option. Data from the board of elections shows turnout during the first six days of early voting is roughly double of 2019 and 2021. Commissioner Dustin Czarny says so far, more than 7,500 voters have cast their ballots at ten locations. He says voting totals from today and the weekend will determine if the upward trend continues.
“What that means for turnout, we never really know," Czarny said. "This could be just people choosing to early vote instead of Election Day vote, which is the point of early voting. It's about the convenience just as much as giving opportunities to people who may not be able to vote on Election Day.”
Czarny attributes the stronger turnout to four additional early voting sites closer to population centers. This is the fifth year of early voting, and Czarny says it seems to be catching on.
“Early voting grows over time and that's what we saw in other states," Czarny said. "When it when it first gets implemented, it starts out small, then people start to trust it. And now the campaigns are really trying to drive people for it, both sides now are trying to drive people towards it.”
Still, he says, Democrats seem to be embracing it more than Republican voters, though Republicans appear less reluctant than previous years.
Meanwhile, Czarny says the board of elections is awaiting the arrival of a few thousand absentee ballots. So far, less than half of the nearly 8,000 ballots have been returned.
“Local years only have around a 60 percent return rate for for absentees because the permanent absentees get one every year," Czarny said. "But not everybody votes every year. I would love that to be the case, but even the even the permanent absentee sometimes just decide not to vote. So, I'm not alarmed, but it is something that I think the campaigns are working on getting those people to return those absentees.”
They must be postmarked by election day, Tuesday Nov. 7th and arrive by the 14th to be counted.