Broome Election Board Ready for Voters

By Matt Porter

November 6, 2012 Updated Nov 6, 2012 at 11:27 AM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Hours before the first polls open Tuesday morning election officials say it's crunch time.

The Broome County Board of Elections said it's trying a host of new technologies and strategies to make this year the most efficient.

They've set up a "nerve center" of 30 computers in the office where volunteers from Johnson City High School will take calls from polling places. They will record counts that will be almost instantaneously posted online.

"We're using student volunteers that will be answering the phone and inputting into the computer," said Democratic Deputy Commissioner Mary Pines. "And it's real time. If you go on our website, you'll be able to see the results as the come in."

All the results online will be unofficial until all counts can be "canvassed" which means that the inspectors double check the numbers with the paper records.

Certification could take weeks, so any tight races may not be called until later in mid-November.

Election officials say turnout during presidential years are at least 20 percent higher on average than other years.

They expect nearly 80 percent of registered voters to show up. That means the county could see close to 100,000 people head to the polls.

"It's the superbowl, but I really feel that we're ready," said Pines. "We've been preparing all year, even though we've had three other elections this year. We're really up and running and ready to go."

To meet the demand, more than 1,000 election inspectors will be working at polling places throughout the county.

Although New York does not have early voting, they do allow people to submit absentee ballots early.

Broome County has received almost 5,000 absentee ballots already.

They will accept absentee ballots in person until election day, or by mail as long as they are postmarked by November 5.