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Despite Early Voting, Turnout High In Capital Region Tuesday

Polling place St. Andrew's Church in Albany
Dave Lucas
Polling place St. Andrew's Church in Albany

Voter turnout has been high at many Capital Region polling sites today despite nine days of early voting and an expanded mail-in option during the pandemic.

In Albany, a city with a century of Democratic rule under its belt, most of the voters WAMC encountered at different polling sites are towing the party line. Outside the site at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Albany this afternoon, Mark Lifset said he backed former Vice President Joe Biden:

"I am concerned primarily about dealing with the coronavirus, and I think he will mobilize more energy on the federal level than the president has."

Bob Mason also cast a vote for Biden:

"I'm nervous. I don't know what's gonna happen as the votes are counted. I just am on edge. It's the damndest thing that I've ever seen. I saw the year of the Chicago Seven. And this is, strange times."

Lifset agrees 2020 has been a trial for everyone. He'd like to see a winner declared sooner rather than later.

"I hope it's over, decided quickly and doesn't drag on in the courts for a long time."

No lines at all Tuesday afternoon at Albany polling site St. Sophia's Greek Orthodox Church.
Credit WAMC photo by Dave Lucas
No lines at all Tuesday afternoon at Albany polling site St. Sophia's Greek Orthodox Church.

Over at Hibernian Hall, Alessia Gonzalez was among those voting in person. The long lines that made morning headlines had disappeared by early afternoon.

"Yeah I was surprised, I thought I was gonna be waiting in line for at least like an hour, no matter what polling site I was going to, but it was like five minutes in and out."

Gonzalez voted for Biden. Fellow Albany resident Dick Adair credited Trump with handling the economy well, but went for Biden, too.

"Well, I believe it's gonna be exceedingly close."

Voters and poll workers were wearing masks and maintaining social distance.

Democrats also hold an enrollment advantage in Schenectady County, where Glenville Town Supervisor Chris Koetzle chairs the Republican Party.

He says Republican Jim Tedisco will retain the 49th state Senate seat against Thearse McCalmon, that longshot Congressional candidate Liz Joy will defeat Democrat Paul Tonko, in the 20th district, and that Trump is going to win decisively...

"There's a lot of, a lot of excitement. A candidate that draws 56, 57,000 people to a rally, that's a movement. And I don't think the polls are capturing that. And I just think that he's gonna have a successful night as well."

Polls are open until 9 p.m. in New York.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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