October 24, 2021

First days of early voting bring out lines in Cortland

Voters show passion

Colin Spencer/staff reporter

George Mowry, near left, waits in line Saturday outside the Cortland County Board of Elections in Cortland. Mowry was the first person to vote in the early voting period, which began Saturday.

Rain and cold weather don’t make for a fun time waiting outside. But being able to help influence the future leadership of the country can ease those conditions.

This was the case for George Mowry of Cortland, and all those who voted early Saturday at the Cortland County Board of Elections. The day marked the first of nine days for people to cast their vote for the general election.

Mowry was the first in line Saturday morning and had been waiting about an hour before the poll opened. Voters snaked across the parking lot at the board’s office on River Street — a snake repeated again Sunday as voters backed up as far as the sidewalk on Port Watson Street.

“I’m very passionate about this particular election,” Mowry said.

He noted that some of the biggest issues that were influencing his candidate decisions related to the coronavirus pandemic and the decency of the candidates.

Colin Spencer/staff reporter

Voters wait in line Saturday outside the Cortland County Board of Elections in Cortland. Saturday marked the first day of early voting, which goes until Nov. 1.

Where to vote

Early voting in Cortland County began Saturday and continues until Nov. 1 at the Cortland County Board of Elections, 112 River St., Cortland.

For voting times and information, go to: https://tinyurl.com/y5mvsv6d

Even though final results will not be expected on election night with a large number of voters submitting mail in ballots, Mowry said he’ll closely follow the returns on Nov. 3.

“For four years, I’ve wondered where common sense has gone in this country,” he said. “Now we’re going to find out.”

Paula Niederhofer of Homer said she was voting early in case she might contract COVID-19 and not be able to vote on Election Day.

“I’m excited,” she said. She too said she’ll be watching as the tallies come in Nov. 3.

Stephanie Mason of Marathon, shared a similar motivation for voting early, making sure that her vote would be counted.

“I’m not taking any chances,” she said. “I want to show up and do this.”

Mason, who was there with her husband, Daniel, said she was voting for “equality and for everyone and trying to save our democracy.”

Both Masons said they’ll be glued to the TV on Nov. 3.

“We all have a passion about this election,” said Joan HenryGates of Cortland. “It’s very emotionally charged. We have an investment of how it comes out.”

Henry-Gates said that the world has a lot of anger in the world and it would be nice to have some peace.

Unlike the Masons, she said she never follows the results on election night.

“I just go to bed and when I wake up, I’m either pleasantly surprised or horrified and shocked,” she said.

For Bill Fiske of Cortland, early voting was a way to engage his civic involvement.

“It needs to be done,” he said.

He though, said he wouldn’t be following the immediate results on Nov. 3 as he’s “old enough to have lived when they didn’t have immediate results.”

Chad Cotterill of Cortland went to vote early to avoid the crowds but ended up a part of one, he said.

For him, the biggest issues were the pandemic and the economy.

“I’d like to vote for the candidate that’ll balance the budget but I don’t think that’s one of the choices,” he added.

Cotterill said he’ll be watching the results on Nov. 3 but understood it might take a bit for all votes to be tallied.

“Hopefully, we’ll not all be watching on Dec. 3,” he said, laughing.