I got so many questions about early voting that I decided to brave the lines and go back to the Westbury site on Sunday. I spoke to the staff there at the Yes We Can Center and they said that the line was so long on the first day of voting that people who arrived at 9AM did not vote for two hours! I was lucky enough to see Robert Troiano, former county legislator, and he told me that no one went home without voting. Amazing!
The line was much shorter at 3:30pm. I stood on line, was checked in, and voted in less than 20 minutes.
I asked Rob about dropping off absentee ballots. He said that folks doing a drop off should not wait in line, just go to the entrance and deposit the ballot in the special locked box (looks like a fortified garbage receptacle). I put a photo of one below. You don’t need to wait in line or check in, just drop off. The boxes are located inside the site, right next to the entry door. They are usually not in the little entryway lobby, but right past it.
If you are doing in-person early voting you do wait on line, but the line moves quickly. The staff seems well trained. There are also support staff there in case the printers or computers don’t work, as well as interpreters where required by law. You check in with a staffer who does everything electronically including getting your signature.
The computer then generates a ballot based on which election district you live in. You also get a cool I Voted Early sticker which all the kids are vying for.
It was easier than the old pre-digital voting and it has the advantage of having an actual paper ballot with a real paper trail.
The Nassau County BOE seems to have put real thought into this.
Put your experiences into the comments section.