TOMPKINS COUNTY, N.Y.—Residents in Tompkins County have been able to vote early since 2019 thanks to the New York State Early Voting Act, which allows a nine-day window for early voting to occur leading up Election Day.

A total of 3,803 turned out at the two locations combined, according to Tompkins County Democratic Commissioner of Elections Stephen DeWitt. That number alone represents about a third of the total number of people who voted in the county’s Democratic primaries in 2018, the last midterm election year (though early voting had yet to be introduced at that point).

In 2020, more than 2,000 people voted in just two out of the nine days, certainly a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on voters’ desire to be in public en masse on Election Day. About 1,400 people used early voting over the entire nine-day period in 2019, the first year early voting was introduced.

This year, the Democratic primary being held is for representatives in the 19th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives and the 52nd New York State Senate District, as well as a Special Election to fill the seat left vacant when Tom Reed resigned from the 23rd Congressional District. The candidate elected for this seat will serve until Jan. 3, 2023.

All registered Democrats in the county are eligible to vote in all three elections this time around, and the early voting sites were held downtown on North Tioga Street at the Ithaca Town Hall and the Crash Fire Rescue building on Brown Road for the full nine-day period that ran Aug. 13 through Aug. 21. There is no Republican primary being held for any office in Tompkins County and the Republican candidate for Congressional District 19, Marc Molinaro, does not have a challenger.

More information on the two elections, polling places and absentee voting can be found on the county’s Board of Elections website here.

Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2022, and polling places can be searched here. (Absentee ballots must be postmarked or delivered in-person by Aug. 23, and will be received through Aug. 30.)

Zoë Freer-Hessler

Zoë Freer-Hessler is a general assignment reporter for the Ithaca Voice. She has covered a wide range of topics since joining the news organization in November 2021. She can be reached at zhessler@ithacavoice.com...