BATH, NY – From Steuben County Spokesperson Mary Perham:
Early Voting turnout in Steuben County exceeded all expectations during the first weekend it was offered for the Nov. 3 General Elections at the county Annex in Bath, county Board of Elections commissioners told county legislators Monday. “The line was around the block, and through the parking lot,” county Democratic Commissioner Kelly Penziul said. “It was incredible.” Roughly 1,200 voters showed up Saturday and Sunday from across the county to cast their votes for U.S. President as well as a number of state and local contests, the commissioners said at a special meeting of the county Legislature’s Administration Committee Monday. The commissioners told the committee they are prepared for a continued surge of early voters during the week as well as an influx of absentee ballots, which must be postmarked by Nov. 3. While early voting results will be included in the Nov. 3 count, all absentee ballots will be counted beginning Nov. 17. Certified election results must be completed by Nov. 27. The recent spike in COVID-19 cases will require those diagnosed with the virus, those quarantined or who suspect they have been exposed to the virus to vote by absentee ballots, the commissioners said. Applications for an absentee ballot are available for all voters until Tuesday https://www.elections.ny.gov/votingabsentee.html or at https://www.steubencony.org/pages.asp?PID=63/ but may be picked up at the county Elections Board until Nov. 2, the commissioners said. Every effort is being made to secure the Nov. 3 polling sites for an accurate tally and personal safety for in-person voting, the commissioners said. County Republican Commissioner Vicky Olin said voters will be required to observe all COVID-19 protocols placed by the state, with six-foot distancing and masks will be provided, as needed. Privacy booths will be folded after each voter’s use to alert election inspectors which areas need to be thoroughly cleansed before the next use. All implements, such as stylus and ballot-marking pens will be cleansed before each use, they said. Inspectors also will follow safety protocols to ensure their well-being and that of the voting public, the commissioners said. The commissioners said there are no plans to open more early voting sites largely due to the constrictions created by COVID-19.