ALBANY — Blocks-long lines formed early Monday morning as Albany voters turned out on the first day of early voting for the Nov. 3 general election.
With a hotly contested presidential election and two too-close-to-call U.S. Senatorial races, as well as local races and statewide amendments, on the ballot, there was a determined, almost businesslike atmosphere as voters waited — most patiently — to cast their ballots in downtown Albany’s Candy Room.
Emma Alexander, 75, offered words that reflected the general mood of the voters lined up along Pine Avenue and Washington Street when called the vote the “election of the century.”
“I am 75 years old, and I think this election is the election of the century,” Alexander said. “We must make a conscious effort to vote and make change. Our vote is our voice.”
Mike Weaver, 57, echoed Alexander’s comment.
“I’m 57 years old, and in my opinion, this is the most important election of my lifetime,” Weaver said as the line inched slowly forward.
The line of voters was an eclectic one, stretching across multiple generations. Jolane Parks, who said she was a disabled veteran, said she came out on Monday to “do my civic duty.” A much younger Nicole Holloway said she wanted to make sure her vote counted.
“I’m leaving town next week, and I wanted to make sure I got my vote in,” Holloway said.
Criticism of the local Elections office had begun by mid-morning, as contributors to this newspaper’s Squawkbox feature and others chastised the office for “not having more than one voting location open.”
Early voting will continue weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Oct. 30. A special Saturday early vote day is scheduled Oct. 24.