LATHAM, N.Y. (NEWS10) – It’s Election Day in the United States and polls are open in New York State till 9 p.m. Tuesday night.
The New York State Board of Elections is expecting a large voter turnout, judging by the volume of absentee ballots that have already been submitted. Statewide, absentee ballots are up 55% from the 2012 election.
Within a half-hour of polls opening at the North Colonie School District polling place in Latham, poll inspectors were already impressed with the turnout.
High turnout could mean long lines, so election officials are asking voters to be as patient as you can.
As of Noon, things at the NCSD polling place were running smoothly. The biggest head scratcher of the morning was which side of the ballot should be facing down when sliding into the machine. Officials eventually confirmed it doesn’t make a difference which way the ballot is fed.
Election officials advise arriving at your polling location during an off-peak hour.
Officials also want to remind voters that children are allowed in the polling place, so people don’t have to worry about hiring a babysitter. In fact, officials encourage parents to bring their kids to vote, as the experience can be a valuable educational civic opportunity.
Voter Nancy Wells says her grandchildren have a while to wait till they’re eligible to vote, but she’s happy she brought them with her to the polling place anyway.
“I want to make sure my grandchildren get registered and know how to vote so they’ll be good citizens when they grow up,” said voter Nancy Wells.
Jenny Vehlow, a former resident of Canada, is voting in her first U.S. presidential election.
“It’s exciting. I’m glad I got my citizenship,” said Vehlow. “I want to make a difference.
Vehlow, like many others on Tuesday, is encouraging others to get out and vote.
“If you don’t vote, you can’t complain,” she said.
“It’s my country. I pay taxes,” said voter Marie Hill on Tuesday. “I want my voice heard. More people should come out and vote. It’s very important.”
Lastly, speaking of encouraging others to vote, selfies in the voting booth are allowed. But to avoid breaking the rules, your marked ballot cannot be in the frame.
Election officials also want voters to know bringing propaganda into a polling location is not allowed. That means, no trump shirts, or Hillary pins.
Polls are open till 9:00 p.m. Tuesday. Get out and vote!