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Early voting gets a steady start


More than 1,000 voters cast their primary ballots this past weekend at early voting sites across Monroe County.

The busiest of the 14 polling sites was SUNY Empire State College on Westfall Road in Brighton, which saw 204 voters, according to data provided by the Monroe County Board of Elections. In second and third, respectively, were Sibley Square, which drew 172 voters, and the Boys and Girls Club on Genesee Street, which had 169 voters.

Just under three-quarters of early voting ballots were cast at sites in the city of Rochester or just adjacent to it, the Board of Elections figures show. Primaries in the Democrat-dominated city are high-stakes, since the winner typically goes on to win the general election.
In Rochester, Mayor Lovely Warren is seeking reelection and faces a challenge from City Council member Malik Evans, who also has the Working Families Party line and will be on the November ballot no matter the primary’s outcome. Nine candidates are vying for three seats on the Rochester school board, and 16 people are running for five City Council seats.

There are also County Legislature primaries in several districts contained within the city or partly within the city.

The number of people who cast ballots during the first weekend of early voting for the 2021 primaries was nowhere near that of last year’s general election, which included turnout-boosting races for president and Congress. During the first weekend of voting for the 2020 general election, 19,000 people cast their ballots — the election happened in the thick of the COVID-19 pandemic and it’s likely that many of those voters turned to early voting out of fear that their absentee ballots would get lost or delayed in the mail.

Board of Elections officials reported that as of Sunday, they’ve received 1,774 absentee ballots as well.

Early voting continues through June 20. Hours and locations can be found at

Jeremy Moule is CITY’s news editor. He can be reached at