NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — More than 50 million people have already voted across the country, and Saturday, New York state opens its polling sites for early voting.
Long Island poll sites are poised and ready for the influx of enthusiastic voters.
Testing voting machines under lock and key supervised by Long Island party leaders, both Republican and Democrat.
“This is the poll pad where all voters will be signing in,” a poll worker said.
Signing in to vote early, beginning Saturday morning, and the interest in voting early has exploded.
“I’m voting early tomorrow morning,” one man said.
“I have business to do. It will be better to vote earlier,” another man said.
“I plan to vote early,” one woman said.
With COVID rules in place, dozens of early voting sites will be open through next weekend.
The locations will also have absentee ballot drop-off boxes, accepted in person until Election Night or postmarked by Nov. 3.
“I’ve already voted, I sent it in. With this pandemic, this was the smartest thing to do,” one woman told CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan.
“Folks are choosing to use the absentee ballot, the ease of using the temporary illness box for fear of contracting COVID,” Nassau County Democratic Elections Commissioner James Scheuerman said. “The Board of Elections purchased high-speed scanning machines. Once we are able to count those absentees, we will be able to count those quicker than we ever have before.”
With 33% of Long Islanders expected to vote by absentee ballot, election officials say neither Nassau nor Suffolk will begin counting those paper ballots until seven days after the election.
Track stars from Adelphi are voting in their first presidential election.
“I’m voting in person,” one said.
“That just solidifies that my vote is counted,” another said.
Some worry their votes won’t be counted or early polling sites won’t be protected. The county executive says law enforcement will be monitoring.
“We want to make sure that all of the laws are followed. No electioneering in the poll sites. No intimidation in the poll site,” Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said.
CAMPAIGN 2020: New York Early Voting Gets Underway This Weekend
Although options are open to avoid long lines Election Day, most say they plan on tradition.
“Going the day of the election. I’m old school,” one man said.
Many voters say they want to get the process started.
You can call your Board of Elections to determine if your absentee ballot was received.
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