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Clinton County sees high number of early voters

Early voting goes until Sunday
Published: Oct. 26, 2020 at 6:56 PM EDT
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PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (WCAX) - New Yorkers get to vote early for president for the first time ever, and long waits have been reported across the state.

Since Saturday when early voting started, the Clinton County Board of Elections says nearly 2,000 people in Clinton County have cast their ballots.

Delores Vivian, a voter in Plattsburgh said, “it’s our civil right” when asked why she thinks voting is important, “to have our country running properly this is what we have to do.”

Every person has their own reason behind why they choose to vote. Sanford Coakley, a voter from Beekmantown, said, “I think this vote is for our country, to bring it back together as a community, family and as a nation.”

Every person has their own reason they pick the candidate they stand for. Aletta Benson, a Plattsburgh voter, says she has voted in many elections and she is confident in her pick for president, “who I voted for should be going in.”

Voters in Clinton County agree that it’s your right to vote and you should use it.

“There are strong views from both sides and people want to be heard,” said the Democratic chair for the Clinton County Board of Elections, Mary Dyer.

New Yorkers have three options for voting in this election. They can vote early in-person, they can vote in-person on Election Day and they can vote by mail. So far, more than 8,500 voters in the county have asked for mail-in ballots.

“Mail it in as quickly as you can,” said Dyer, “as long as it is postmarked by November third.”

Voting looks different this year because of the pandemic: masks are mandatory to vote, you will get your own pen that you can keep, and they have staff working to make sure there is a sanitizing wipe down after every voter leaves the booth.

The process for voting early is simple. Check-in with the poll worker using the green polling pad at the front of the Meeting Room at Government Center. They will ask for your name and address and they will give you a ticket. That ticket is given to the poll workers at the next table. They will double-check the ticket matches the ballot you are given. Next, head to the booth, make your selections and then submit.

Vivian said it was a quick process, “maybe two minutes, it was extremely quick.”

The night of the election, the county board will release results from in-person voting and early voting but won’t start counting the mail-in ballots until the following Monday after confirming that no one voted twice. Final results won’t be known until the mail-in ballots are counted and that could delay knowing the winner of a close race.

“Whatever we have election night, it is not set in stone and anything could happen,” said Dyer.

Aletta Benson leaves this message: “Get out and vote, it’s very important. Especially this year.”

You can find dates and times for early voting here.

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