ALBANY, N.Y. (NEW10) — Early voting in New York has paved the way for higher turnout, even during a midterm election.

While numbers are at about 50 percent of what they were back in 2020, John Conklin, Director of Public Information for the NYS Board of Elections, said it’s hard to compare early turnout for a presidential election during a pandemic.

“I think a number of voters wanted to do early voting as opposed to waiting for election day, there were also a large number of voters who voted by absentee ballot that year,” Conklin said.

Conklin said gubernatorial races and some high-stakes congressional races usually coincide with midterm elections, which can significantly drive voter turnout.

Several key politicians have come out to campaign for both gubernatorial candidates, including former presidents. The latest poll, by Emerson College and The Hill, shows Governor Kathy Hochul in an eight-point lead over Congressman Lee Zeldin. According to the poll, 52 percent of New Yorkers are planning on choosing Hochul for Governor, while 44 percent plan to vote for Zeldin.

The races combined with hot-button political issues and changes due to redistricting have many voters ready to cast their ballot.

“New York is considered a battleground state, both parties are spending a lot of money here so that drives attention, drives media attention and certainly turnout as well,” Conklin said.

If you are unable to vote on election day, Conklin said absentee ballot applications can still be submitted in-person at your local Board of Elections on Monday, Nov. 7, 2022.