Jane Hall was first in line on Saturday.
She wanted to avoid the congestion of Election Day voting, so she was among more than 80 who voted Saturday, the first day of early voting.
“It’s a big deal to do this and not have to go on Election Day and have all the craziness of lines, “ said Hall, 69, of Homer. “This is really a good thing.”
Early voting began Saturday and runs until Nov. 3 at the Cortland County Board of Elections, 112 River St.
For details, visit www.cortland-co. org/182/Elections. For voting hours, see page 6.
A total of 134 voters cast ballots early this weekend — 84 on Saturday and 50 on Sunday, according to the Cortland County Board of Elections. This is the first year New York has allowed voters to vote early, and polls will be open in Cortland, Tompkins and Cayuga counties daily until Sunday.
Hall, who used to work for the American Auto Association but is now retired, said that voting on Election Day used to be a hassle with her changing schedule. That has now been relieved with early voting.
“I think it’s (early voting) a great idea and I’m glad they did it,” she said.
Hall plans to vote early in the future.
Phil and Marie Rumsey of Homer said they voted early out of curiosity in how the process would work.
“We thought it would be a unique opportunity,” Phil Rumsey said.
He did express concern for how early voting might work in the future, due to the gap between the start of early voting and Election Day. “Some years I might want to wait (to vote) closer to Election Day,” Rumsey said.
While the Rumseys were pleased with the handling of the procedure, Marie Rumsey said the use of two ballots, one for the villages and one for towns, may confuse people.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed early voting legislation into law in January, joining 38 other states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Cuomo also announced an awareness campaign that began Saturday. New Yorkers can text “Early Voting” to 81336 to receive early voting information via text message.
Additionally, the campaign includes a new web page where New Yorkers can easily find their polling place for early voting. The governor also announced the launch of a social media campaign to raise awareness and inform New Yorkers about early voting.
“Early voting is just one way we are removing barriers that have prevented and discouraged voters from exercising their right to vote,” Cuomo said. “All New Yorkers deserve to have their voices heard, regardless of any professional or family obligations that prevent them from getting to the polls on Election Day, and I encourage all New Yorkers to use these tools to stay informed about early voting and take advantage of the nine day early voting period.”
Staff Reporter Travis Dunn contributed to this report.