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Chautauqua County tops 10,000 absentee ballots requested by voters

How does that compare to previous years? 'We have easily passed our old record of about 4,000 absentee ballots issued.'

MAYVILLE, N.Y. — More than 10,000 absentee ballot applications have been sent to voters to be filled out, according to the Chautauqua County Board of Elections.

How does that compared to previous years?

"We have easily passed our old record of about 4,000 absentee ballots issued," according to Brian Abram, an elections board commissioner, said in a statement. "We are still a month from the election, so the number of ballots issued will continue to increase.”  

The Chautauqua County Board of Elections' most recent update came on Friday, and it included applications returned as of Thursday.

Chautauqua County voters have until October 27 to request an absentee ballot by mail. Norman Green said the turnaround from when the county receives the application to when the ballot is mailed is quick.

"The same day we receive an application is the same day we mail a ballot to the voter," he said in a statement. "Our staff stays until the job is done every evening, and fortunately the overtime is being covered by grants that we have secured that is covering pandemic-related expenses."

There are 79,055 registered voters in the county, which expects a 70 percent turnout, or roughly 55,000 voters.

The county commissioners say 5,147 absentee ballots have already been mailed back by voters to the Board of Elections for the November 3 general election. Ballots must be returned to the board of elections or postmarked by election day. 

There will be a drop box located at the Mayville Board of Elections, as well as drop boxes at early voting sites at the Chautauqua Mall in Lakewood and at the County Fairground in Dunkirk.

Absentee ballots can also be dropped off at any of the county's 49 poll sites on election day. 

For those who want to vote in person, there's a 5 p.m. deadline on Monday, November 2.

"Agents who deliver ballots to the Board of Elections, early voting sites, or Election Day poll sites are generally neighbors, friends or relatives," Abram said. "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."