By GREGORY BACON
Election day is set for November 2, but for those who wish to vote in advance, they can do so from this weekend.
Saturday is the first day of early voting in New York State. Residents of Chautauqua County can vote at one of four different polling stations: Election Council Offices, Hall R. Clothier Building, 7 N Erie St. Mayville; Robert H. Jackson Center (Prendergast Avenue entrance) 305 E. Fourth St., Jamestown; Main entrance to Chautauqua Shopping Center, 318 E. Fairmount Ave., Lakewood; or the Chautauqua County Fairgrounds 4-H Building Ag & Expo Center, 1089 Central Ave., Dunkirk.
This year, the county added the Jamestown site, due to a change in state law that requires a voting site located in the county’s most populous municipality.
On Saturday and Sunday, the polling stations will be open from noon to 5 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday, the polling stations will be open from noon to 8 p.m. from Wednesday to Friday, the polling stations will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday October 30-31, the polling stations will be open again from noon to 5 p.m.
Nicole Ellis, of the county electoral board, said identification was not required; however, voters are encouraged to bring a driver’s license and / or voter ID card to help speed up the process.
Ellis noted that there are 78,891 registered voters in the county. When asked how many voters she expected, she replied: “Actually, I have no idea. It’s a local election race, but we encourage everyone to vote.
Election officials have noted in the past that turnout is generally higher in the presidential and governor’s years.
Ellis said there were 102 different electoral districts in Chautauqua County. The county’s 19 legislative constituencies are all in place, as is the county executive seat. The cities of Dunkirk and Jamestown will have increasing council seats but not their mayor seats. All 27 towns in the county have races, as do 10 of the 13 villages. Sinclairville, Mayville and Westfield have no races.
There are four candidates vying for four state Supreme Court seats that all county residents can vote on.
Statewide, there are five proposals that all New York residents can vote on.
Sample ballots, including the five proposals, are available on the Chautauqua County Election Board website. Go to votechautauqua.com and click on the early voting link.
There will be two early voting sites in Cattaraugus County, which can each serve voters in any of the county’s 55 electoral districts and are accessible to voters with physical disabilities: Cattaraugus County Board of Elections, 207 Rock City Street , Little Valley; and Jamestown Community College Olean Campus, Cutco Building Magnano Hall, 305 North Barry Street, Olean.
The opening hours of the two sites are as follows: Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 3 pm; Monday noon to 8 p.m. Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday noon to 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday October 30-31, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
To be able to vote on advance poll or election day, a voter must have been registered by October 8. All registered voters can vote in advance. Persons who vote during the advance polling period are not entitled to vote on polling day or on a subsequent advance polling day.
For more information in Cattaraugus County, contact the Board of Elections at 938-2400 ext. 2403.