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Nearly 15,000 ballots cast in Erie County on Day 1 of early voting

For some perspective, in the 2019 general election, there were around 26,514 ballots cast in Erie County for all nine days of early voting.

ERIE COUNTY, N.Y. — According to the Erie County Board of Elections, 14,724 ballots were cast on the first day of early voting.

They say that's 2.3% of Erie County’s nearly 630,000 registered voters. 

For some perspective, in the 2019 general election, there were around 26,514 ballots cast in Erie County for all nine days of early voting.

Jeremy Zellner, a commissioner for the Erie County Board of Elections, described the turnout Saturday as outstanding. 

"They seemed like they wanted to make their voice heard in a big way and do it quick. We had people lined up very early in the morning, way before the polls even opened to get their voice heard. There just seems to be a lot of excitement out there for election 2020," Zellner said. 

However, the long lines and large crowds raised concern in some locations when it comes to social distancing.

Zellner said, "We can't do anything without the public's cooperation. We try to do our best to keep people six feet apart."

Registered Erie County voters can cast their ballots and any of the 37 early voting locations. 

John Tobia, the North Collins Town Supervisor, is encouraging people to come out toward his area. He said while North Collins had high first-day turnout too, it moved along much quicker than some other locations.

"Speaking with all the other town supervisors, there's some long lines in certain parts of Erie County," Tobia said, "and it's silly for people to be standing in long lines when they can come down to places like Eden and North Collins when they can go home and enjoy a nice country ride instead of standing in line all day." 

At one of the polling locations, we caught up with New York State Assemblymember Sean Ryan.

"That's the glory with early voting, it's over a several-day period, so if it's too crowded today for your taste, come back tomorrow it won't be as crowded," he said.

Early voting goes until November 1.

Click here to view Erie County's early voting locations.