Early voting begins Saturday
By GREGORY BACON
Election Day is set for Nov. 2, but for those who would like to vote beforehand, they can do so starting this weekend.
Saturday is the first day of early voting in New York state. Chautauqua County residents may vote at one of four different polling sites: Board of Elections Offices, Hall R. Clothier Building, 7 N Erie St. Mayville; Robert H. Jackson Center (Prendergast Avenue entrance) 305 E. Fourth St., Jamestown; Chautauqua Mall main entrance, 318 E. Fairmount Ave., Lakewood; or the Chautauqua County Fairgrounds 4-H Building Ag & Expo Center, 1089 Central Ave., Dunkirk.
This year the county added the Jamestown site, due to a change in state law which requires a voting site located in the county’s most populated municipality.
On Saturday and Sunday, the polls will be open noon to 5 p.m.; on Monday and Tuesday, polls will be open noon to 8 p.m.; on Wednesday through Friday polls will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 30-31, polls will again be open noon to 5 p.m.
Nicole Ellis with the county Board of Elections said identification is not required; however, voters are welcome to bring a driver’s license and/or their voter ID card to help speed up the process.
Ellis noted that there are 78,891 registered voters in the county. When asked how many voters she expects, she replied, “I actually have no idea. It’s a local elections race, but we encourage everyone to vote.”
Election officials in the past have noted that turnout is generally higher in presidential and gubernatorial race years.
Ellis said there are 102 different election districts in Chautauqua County. All 19 county legislative districts are up as well the county executive seat. Dunkirk and Jamestown cities will have council seats up but not their mayoral seats. All 27 towns in the county have races, as well as 10 of the 13 villages. Sinclairville, Mayville and Westfield do not have any races.
There are four candidates running for four seats on the State Supreme Court Justice that all county residents will be able to vote on.
Statewide, there are five propositions that all New York residents will be able to cast their vote.
Sample ballots, including the five propositions, can be found at the Chautauqua County Board of Elections website. Go to votechautauqua.com and click on the early voting link.
There will be two early voting sites in Cattaraugus County, which can each serve voters from any of the county’s 55 election districts and are accessible to voters with physical disabilities: Cattaraugus County Board of Elections, 207 Rock City Street, Little Valley; and Jamestown Community College Olean Campus, Cutco Building Magnano Room, 305 North Barry Street, Olean.
Hours for both sites are as follows: Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Monday noon to 8 p.m.; Tuesday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Wednesday noon to 8 p.m.; Thursday and Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 30-31, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
To be eligible to vote at Early Voting or Elections Day, a voter must have been registered by Oct. 8. All registered voters may vote early. Persons who vote during the early voting period, are not eligible to vote on Election Day or on a subsequent day of early voting.
For more information in Cattaraugus County, contact the Board of Elections at 938- 2400 ext. 2403.