JAMESTOWN – Early voting kicked off over the weekend in Chautauqua County, with an additional polling place in Downtown Jamestown.
The Robert H. Jackson Center will be open through Sunday for early voting, something Chautauqua County Board of Election leaders say will provide more accessibility to those in Jamestown.
Republican Commissioner Brian Abram says the new addition is the result of new voting regulations.
“New York State law clearly states that you have to be in the highest popular density area of your county,” explained Abram. “The City of Jamestown has the highest population density, so starting this year the new law clearly states that’s where you have to have at least one of your voting sites.”
He says the planning process started a few years ago, however this is the first time the site was used.
“We went to the City of Jamestown and created a partnership with the Jackson Center and it will be our first year there to try to service that area,” Abram futhered.
With the increase in locations, the county’s Democratic Commissioner Luz Torres hopes this will not only bring more accessibility to those looking to cast their ballot, but also speed things up.
“Overall we are anticipating about thirty percent this year between early voting and election day,” said Torres, who explains that turnout will likely be lower this year.
Those with questions about voting, could call the Board of Elections office or visit them online.
“We direct them to the Chautauqua County Board of Elections website , we have the days and hours that we are,” Torres explained.
In addition to the Jackson Center, early voting is happening at the Board of Elections Offices in Mayville, the Chautauqua County Fairgrounds in Dunkirk and the Chautauqua Mall in Lakewood.
Polls are open from noon to 8 p.m. today and Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and then again noon to 5 p.m. next Saturday and Sunday.
Those who do not vote early can vote in person at their regular polling site on Tuesday, November 2.