Early voting, absentee ballots push Warren County past 2016 vote numbers

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glens falls fire house voting

Voters arrive and leave at the West Glens Falls Fire House on election day, Nov. 3, 2020.

GLENS FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Just about every polling place in Warren County started election day Tuesday with a line out front.

That’s normal, but this year, the numbers have been rising for well over a week, with early voters making their way to places like Warren County’s municipal center to ensure their voices be heard.

“We did 1,200 in a day,” said Beth McLaughlin, Democratic Commissioner with the Warren County Board of Elections. “On a Wednesday, y’know?”

In the 2016 presidential election, Warren County saw 31,671 votes, out of 41,944 registered voters. As of 7:30 Tuesday, 2020’s total sat at 34,800 and rising.

According to the numbers, the increase of over 3,000 voters and rising was largely thanks to expanded early and absentee voting.

As of a 7:30 p.m. phone interview, the county had counted in 19,586 election day votes, making up 41 percent of the county’s voters. Adding to that are a total of 7,455 early voters over the last week; and another 7,777 votes coming in from absentee ballots.

“That amazed me,” McLaughlin said. “Early voting amazed me.”

The voices at the polls

The county board of elections said one of the busiest polling places was the West Glens Falls Fire House. Tuesday afternoon saw a steady stream of voters in and out, many with families in tow.

One of those was Glens Falls resident Dave Dobkowski, there with his wife and children. Dobkowski said he felt voters needed to look past the national election, and also consider the local candidates.

“I voted for local candidates I truly support,” he said. When asked if he was comfortable sharing what candidates he voted for, his response was that he feels voting is private for a reason.

One of those local races is for the 114th state assembly district, which sees a three-way race between Democrat Claudia Braymer, Republican Matthew Simpson and Serve America Movement member Evelyn Wood.

Other voters had their eyes trained on the presidency itself. Queensbury resident Tim Brown said his vote for Joe Biden was in large part due to his plan to take the COVID-19 pandemic seriously.

But Brown, a 5th grade teacher in Queensbury, also pointed out his experience with foreign countries.

“He’s an institutionalist,” Brown said.” He’s been there.”

Polls close at 9 p.m. Visit news10.com for more coverage on the 2020 election through Tuesday night.

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