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More than 8,000 people have already voted early in Niagara County

Niagara County Board of Elections mailed out more than 18,000 absentee ballots and nearly 11,000 have already been returned.

NIAGARA COUNTY, N.Y. — If you want to vote early in Niagara County, you have two options, you can go to a polling place in Niagara Falls or one in Lockport.

In Erie County, though a larger county, there are 37 polling places where you can vote early.

2 On Your Side asked Niagara County Democratic Board of Elections Commissioner Lora Allen about why there are only two polling places. She said last year only 1,800 people voted early. 

"We did what the state had said we needed to do with the number of sites according to the number of people who lived in the county," Allen said.

Allen said more than 8,000 people have already cast their ballots since early voting began on Saturday.

"This is an election like we've never seen before," she said. "I've been here at the Board of Elections for 18 years and I've never, even during a presidential seen anything like this before."

Tuesday, with rain falling and chilly temperatures, there was still a line of people into the parking lot at Cornell Cooperative Extension polling site in Lockport.

As she was leaving the polling location, voter Ellen Allen said, "My husband and I came, we waited in line in the rain, it wasn't too bad though, people are really good about social distancing and a pretty painless experience."

Despite only having two sites and thousands of voters, Allen said they've been able to get people in and out fairly quickly.

"We have more than two e-poll books in each location at our sites. We are able to look up eight people at a time, not just two people," she said. "So you know we are moving pretty fast with average wait times between 20 and 30 minutes."

"It's a little rainy, but it wasn't too bad, I waited probably about 15-20 minutes outside and then 5-10 minutes inside, but it wasn't bad at all," Kimberly Chase said after she voted.

Niagara County Board of Elections mailed out more than 18,000 absentee ballots and almost 60 percent of those, nearly 11,000, have already been returned.

For more information on how to vote early in Niagara County click here.

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