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Early voting in Erie County starts with more than 4,000 ballots cast

Over half of those ballots come from people in the City of Buffalo, according to the Erie County Board of Elections. More than 3,000 of those voters were Democrats.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — On the first day of early voting, officials with the Erie County Board of Elections say 4,374 people cast their ballots.

A little over half of those, from 2,323 people, come from the City of Buffalo. More than 200 came from a new polling place, the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site. 

"We've got more sites than any other county," Erie County Board of Elections commissioner Jeremy Zellner said. 

The Erie County Board of Elections has nearly 40 polling places, but this is only the third time early voting has been offered in New York.

"Once folks start to get used to it, it's going to really help the ease and remove any barriers there are for our election," Zellner said. 

Of the more than 4,000 in Erie County who cast their ballots Saturday, 3,000 were from Democrats. A little over 900 came from Republicans. 

A key race on the ballot this year is a tense one between the Democratic Party's pick, India Walton, and incumbent and write-in candidate Mayor Byron Brown. 

A few voters tell 2 On Your Side they just had to come and cast their ballot on Day 1 all because of that race.

"I feel very strongly about the mayor race. I feel if India Walton gets elected, it will be a disaster," Christopher Porter said. "That's one of the reasons I came out early voting. First time doing this, and I feel that this is a critical race for Buffalo, and if it doesn't go the right way, it's not going to very good for this city."

Countered Kenneth Budziszewski: "India has her mind in the right place, and she's going to be able to roll out some good progressive policies for the citizens of Buffalo."

For those who want their voices heard in this election, you do not need an ID to vote. 

If you plan to vote early, you have until Oct. 31.

Waiting for Election Day? Make sure you choose your registered polling site.