Polls are open, large turnout expected
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BUFFALO -- There was a steady stream of voters when the polls opened around Western New York. Dozens of people were waiting in line at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Buffalo.
Erie County Board of Elections officials estimate about a 75% turnout this year. Factors include the Presidential election, a very publicized and closely contested Congressional race between Chris Collins and Kathy Hochul, and good weather.
Erie County Board of Elections Commissioner Dennis Ward says it's usually the largest turnout in the four year cycle. More than 400,000 Erie County voters are expected to cast their ballots.
"There's no question it's a big turnout year. It will be a long day for everyone here but hopefully it will be a successful election," Ward said.
Commissioner Ward said there are 544 election machines, 335 polling sites, and nearly 4,000 election workers in Erie County.
Ward gave us some tips to not wait in line on this election day.
"The big times are around lunchtime and certainly around the dinner hour between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. If you wait until that time, you're going to wait. That's a fact of life. We recommend going other times during the day if they're available to do so and they can avoid standing in line," Ward said.
There's still plenty of time to vote. Polls close at 9 p.m.