Suffolk prepares for influx of ballots, voting applications as voter registration deadline looms
The clock is ticking if you want your voice to be heard this Election Day -- the voter registration deadline is Friday.
Suffolk voters lined up with their absentee ballots in hand Thursday, bringing them to the county's Board of Elections.
"We don't want to stand in line because of the pandemic so we are very happy to vote this way," says Ann Verdi, of Wading River.
Suffolk expects more than four times as many absentee ballots as usual this year.
"We have had about 150,000 requests so far, we expect 250,000 when all is said and done," says Suffolk Board of Elections Commissioner Nick LaLota. "That's one-quarter of our 1 million registered voters here in Suffolk County."
The Board of Elections says it hired extra staff to handle the paperwork, including new voter applications, which must be postmarked or dropped off by Oct. 9.
If voters don't want to mail in or drop off their ballot of the Board of Elections, officials say they can still vote in person early or on Election Day. They are trying to make sure polling stations will be extra clean and safe.
"We have trained for months to ensure that our inspectors enforce the right COVID protocols like social distancing, like PPE, wipe-down measures," says LaLota.
Susan Hoffman says she'll be in Florida on Nov. 3 -- but thinks there is no excuse even during a pandemic to skip voting.
"The important thing is we've got to vote and that's what we need to do," she says.