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10,000 absentee ballot applications received

MAYVILLE — Chautauqua County election commissioners Norm Green and Brian Abram announced Thursday that the county Board of Elections has received over 10,000 absentee ballot applications for the Nov. 3 General Election.

“We have received over 10,000 applications and true to our word, over 10,000 ballots have been mailed to voters,” Green said. “The same day we receive an application is the same day we mail a ballot to the voter. Our staff stays until the job is done every evening and fortunately the over time is being covered by grants that we have secured that is covering pandemic related expenses.”

“We have easily passed our old record of about 4,000 absentee ballots issued. We are still a month from the election,” Abram said, “so the number of ballots issued will continue to increase.”

Chautauqua County has 79,055 registered voters and expect a 70% voter turnout, or about 55,000 voters. A total of 5,147 of the 10,000 ballots have already been returned voted to the Board of Elections.

¯ The deadline to request an absentee ballot by mail is two weeks from Tuesday, on Oct. 27.

¯ The deadline to apply in person, or by agent, is 5 p.m. Mon. Nov. 2nd at the Board of Elections, 7 N Erie St. Mayville. Ballots must be returned to the BOE or postmarked by election day, Nov. 3.

Ballots may be returned via the U.S. Mail delivered to the Board of Elections Post Office Box; dropped at the Board of Elections drop box located at the Mayville Board of Elections. A drop box will also be available during operating hours at Early Voting Sites at the Chautauqua Mall, Lakewood and at the County Fairground, Dunkirk. Voters or their agents may also drop absentee ballots at any of the county’s 49 poll sites on Election Day.

“Agents who deliver ballots to the Board of Elections, early voting sites, or Election Day poll sites are generally neighbors, friends or relatives,” explain Abram. “Voters are using agents to bring ballots this year because of fears about the reliability of the U.S. Post Office. We find these fears to be unfounded, but it’s our job to deliver services that voters want.”

Early votes and Election Day votes will be tabulated and posted unofficially at votechautauqua.com after the polls close at 9 p.m. on Election Day.

The Board of Elections will be opening absentee ballots seven and thirteen days after the election and adding those votes to the Election Day totals, along with provisional affidavit ballots for voters who have moved. The reason for the delay is that Chautauqua County is part of the statewide voter registration database. The board must wait for the state to research millions of voters to determine if any county voter has moved since voting absentee and at the same time, absentee ballots have until seven days after the election to arrive in Mayville. Military and overseas voters have thirteen days for their ballots to reach the elections office.

The Board of Elections will certify results before Thanksgiving, Nov. 26.

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