The lines on the first day of early voting wrapped around the block.?

ITHACA, NY -- This year was New York State’s first time offering early voting for a presidential election, and it’s safe to say Tompkins County showed up. According to Board of Elections Co-Commissioner Steve Dewitt, 13,725 people voted early, which exceeded his expectations.

“I was thinking about 10,000 people would vote early,” he said. “It was really busy the first four or five days, but then it got a little more manageable.”

In addition to early voters, Dewitt said his department had received over 11,000 absentee votes after issuing 14,919 mail-in ballots. As of Monday, Nov. 2, he said about half of enrolled voters had voted so far.

“There are more people voting this year probably,” he said.

While Dewitt can’t quite predict how many voters will show up to the polls on Election Day, he expects three-quarters of the remaining voters will vote. Dewitt said despite how busy his department had been, it was worth it.

“You give people 60 hours over nine days and two locations to vote early, and it’s certainly a great convenience to the voter,” he said. “It’s more work on our part, but for the turnout, it’s worth it.”

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