If you’re surprised about the popularity of early voting in Onondaga County, you’re not alone. Elections commissioners we spoke with today sounded amazed themselves that more than 40,000 people have already used that option to cast their ballots. And GOP Commissioner Michelle Sardo expects that crowds to continue this weekend toward record overall turnout.
“I would expect that if you’re gonna go out to vote it’s going to be very busy. This weekend or on election day there’s going to be lines. I am predicting about 80% turnout. That’s very rare. That’s very high. A very crazy year and a very unprecedented year.” said Sardo.
At times, 900 to a 1,000 people are voting each hour over the 6 early-voting sites. Sardo says the Clay, Dewitt and Camillus sites have been busiest, with sheriff’s Deputies and Fire Departments helping with traffic. On top of early voting, Democratic Commissioner Dustin Czarny says more than 42,000 absentee ballots have already been dropped off. He adds, there’s still time to get an absentee ballot if you have any health concerns or fears.
“You can come into our office between now and November 2nd and get an absentee ballot and vote right here in the office. You can have somebody pick up that absentee ballot for you. Especially if you’re in quarantine, COVID, or some other ailment we just need a note from you saying the reason.” said Czarny.
Czarny suggests anyone voting by absentee ballot might consider dropping it off at an early voting site, election day polling place or the Board of Elections office. If mailed, it has to be postmarked on or before election day, November 3rd, to be counted. Weekend voting hours were expanded. All early voting sites will be open 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
And even with all the enthusiasm of early voting and absentee ballots, election day is still expected to draw crowds, as voters use their voice in this divided election.