'A step in the right direction:' Early voting begins in New York state

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Early voting started Saturday for the first time in New York state, and officials say they are surprised with the busy turn out.

Some early voters say they are glad to have the opportunity to come in on a weekend to vote.

"I think this is a really great step in the right direction for the state and I hope it continues," said Rich Payne, of White Plains. "I think we're going to see a lot more voters."

The new electronic poll books are going through a test run. So far, feedback has been positive from both officials and voters.

"I think it's a much easier system," says Kristen Zebrowski, the Democratic commissioner on the New City Board of Elections. "The voter comes in, they are asked the first three letters of their last name, the first three letters of their first name. It's easy to find, they don't have to go through books so it's a seamless process."

According to the Reginald LaFayette, the Westchester Board of Elections commissioner, there were some "connection problems with the electronic poll books" that they hoped to have ironed out by Sunday.

The new technology cuts down the wait period to check in. Both voters and inspectors who spoke with News 12 says they feel that it makes the voting experience much more efficient. Many say they hope it can be implemented for next year's 2020 election.

To raise awareness about early voting, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has launched a campaign where New Yorkers can text "Early Voting" to 81336 to receive poll information via text message.

Election Day is Nov 5.

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