CAPITAL REGION -- Voters anxious to get their civic duty over with or who can't conveniently vote on Election Day can cast their ballots starting Saturday, as New York state launches early voting.
Polling sites in counties across the Capital Region will be open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and remain open during some hours every day through Sunday, Nov. 3.
Unlike on Election Day, when hundreds of polling places will be open and people must vote in their local districts, the early voting will take place only at central locations: just one site in smaller-population counties, and at a handful of sites in larger counties.
In Schenectady County, the polling places are the Karen B. Johnson Library in downtown Schenectady; the Glenville Senior Citizen on Worden Road; the Niskayuna Town Hall; and the ViaPort Rotterdam mall.
In Saratoga County, polling places will be at the Clifton Park-Halfmoon Library on Moe Road; the county Board of Elections offices on West High Street in Ballston Spa; and at Gavin Park off Jones Road in Wilton.
Early voters in Fulton, Montgomery and Schoharie will still sign in with paper poll books, but Schenectady and Saratoga counties are both making their first use of electronic poll books, which will require voters to sign their name electronically when they vote.
The early voting hours at 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the two Saturdays and Sundays; noon to 8 p.m. Monday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday; noon to 8 p.m. Wednesday; and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday. The counties with voting only at their boards of election may allow people to vote earlier on Monday and Wednesdays, though hours don't officially start until noon.
The League of Women Voters will be conducting an online survey to track voters’ experiences across the state, asking questions regarding voters’ understanding of the early voting process, access to information about their early voting poll sites, and reasons for voting early.
Voters can take the survey online at www.lwvny.org or by using the link posted on the League’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. All responses will be anonymous.
The league said it will be using the information in its future advocacy efforts.
During early voting, the Capital District Transportation Authority will provide free trolley bus service to the Glenville site from Route 50 and Worden Road, and to the library in downtown Schenectady from stops along Union Street, Nott Terrace, State Street and Clinton Street. The other two Schenectady County sites are on regular CDTA routes.
State Attorney General Letitia James announced that any voter experiencing problems casting early ballots can report issues to the Attorney General’s Office from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day of the early voting period, by calling 800-771-7755 or emailing [email protected]