Capital Region voters experience long waits at the polls

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ALBANY COUNTY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Albany County saw a significant turnout for early voters on Saturday. While some people didn’t mind the long lines.. others say it was a little chaotic.

“We stand in line to buy tickets to concerts, we stand in line to buy tickets for sporting events, we stand in line to go to the movies, so standing in line to vote is no problem,” says Cohoes resident Brian Warner.

The Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Delmar is one of the early voting poll sites in Albany County. It looked empty at 6 p.m. on Saturday, but that wasn’t the case Saturday morning. “It was pretty chaotic,” says Delmar resident Christine Regals.

Christine and Neal Regals live near the Bethlehem Lutheran Church. The couple had plans to vote on Saturday. “When we looked out it was 8:30 a.m., the line was pretty long. Cars were parked, they filled up the parking of the church, and all the way down the street in front of our house,” says Christine Regals. Instead of voting, Neal took it upon himself to direct traffic. “I put up a bunch of traffic cones and ended up standing out directing traffic because it was dangerous with the amount of people that were parking in the street,” says Neal.

Neal called Bethlehem police to report traffic concerns. He told police he put cones in the road to help direct cars and he says if police didn’t object to it, he would keep the cones there until early voting ended Saturday afternoon. “…They claimed that they were unaware of the event, and only had four officers on at that moment,” says Neal. The couple plan to vote on Sunday, they hope police will be able to monitor traffic. The Bethlehem Police Department released a statements to NEWS10:

“…Although no one can predict polling numbers on a given day, the Bethlehem Police Department moving forward will be taking a proactive role in trying to minimize the impact to the residents in this area. We will be posting “No Parking Signs” in the area and will be monitoring the area closely to minimize traffic issues and maximize pedestrian safety…”

Bethlehem Police Department

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