Broome County Voter Turnout

By Julianne Sweeney

July 22, 2010 Updated Nov 4, 2008 at 8:44 PM EDT

Steady but sizable.

Election watchers see voter participation heading toward new highs.

Action News Reporter Julianne Sweeney why 2008 could be a historic election year in Broome County.

One by one, Broome County voters raise the curtain on Election 2008.

"We've had a steady turnout, um, constant." says Broome County Poll Inspector Lorraine Dickinson.

Lorraine Dickinson is an election inspector at the Holy Spirit Church polling site in Binghamton.

By this afternoon, one of its districts was nearing 100% turnout.

Another was at 50%.

But heavy turnout didn't turn into long waits.

"I expected a long, long line. But no...it's gone very smoothly, very fast." says Velma Melodick of Binghamton.

"I thought there was going to be quite a few more actually, um, I heard about long lines in other places, other states and cities." says Douglas Setzer of Binghamton.

The Broome County Board of Elections predicts a record breaking percentage for voter turnout, based on current population

In the 2000 Presidential Race, 74% of registered voters passed through county polls.

In the 2004 Election, 79%.

"I think there's been a lot of interest. It's probably been one of the longest campaigns in history, and I think that's generated a lot of interest." says Board of Elections Commissioner Gene Faughnan.

Faughnan credits a new generation of young voters.

Along with the two-thirds of absentee ballots already returned.

"Everything's been running smoothly. Knock on wood." says Dickinson.

While Dickinson holds down the poll at Holy Spirit, she's bracing to stay busy right up until close tonight.

The Broome County Board of Elections will not know the total number of people who voted until all ballots are counted.

New York polling places are open until 9-pm.

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