Saturday‌ ‌was‌ ‌the‌ ‌first‌ ‌day‌ ‌of‌ ‌early‌ ‌voting‌ ‌in‌ ‌New‌ ‌York‌ ‌state‌, ‌and‌ ‌voters‌ ‌in‌ ‌Rochester‌ ‌and‌ ‌in‌ the‌ ‌suburbs‌ ‌of‌ ‌Monroe‌ ‌County‌ ‌were‌ ‌eager‌ ‌to‌ ‌jump‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌opportunity‌ ‌to‌ ‌have‌ ‌their‌ ‌vote‌ ‌count.‌ ‌

Roshell‌ ‌Lucious‌ ‌came‌ ‌prepared‌ to vote ‌with‌ ‌a‌ ‌lawn‌ ‌chair‌ ‌to‌ ‌sit‌ ‌in‌ ‌line‌ ‌at‌ ‌the‌ ‌David‌ ‌F.‌ ‌Gantt‌ ‌Recreation‌ ‌Center‌.‌ ‌

‌"I‌ ‌did‌ ‌have‌ ‌two‌ ‌hip‌ ‌replacements‌, ‌but‌ ‌I'm‌ ‌going‌ ‌to‌ ‌be‌ ‌out‌ ‌here‌ ‌today,”‌ ‌said‌ ‌Lucious.‌ ‌

What You Need To Know

  • Hundreds of voters waited in lines for the first day of early voting

  • Because of the pandemic, only certain people were allowed inside specific polling locations

  • The Rochester Black Bar Association led a voters march to the David F. Gantt Recreation Center

She‌ ‌said‌ ‌the‌ ‌long‌ ‌line‌ ‌did‌ ‌not‌ ‌surprise‌ ‌her.‌ ‌She‌ ‌knew‌ ‌many‌ ‌people‌ ‌like‌ ‌her‌ ‌were‌ ‌going‌ ‌to‌ ‌do‌ ‌whatever‌ ‌they‌ ‌could‌ ‌to‌ ‌make‌ ‌sure‌ ‌their‌ ‌vote‌ ‌counted‌ ‌this‌ ‌year.‌ ‌

"For‌ ‌the‌ ‌simple‌ ‌fact‌ ‌we‌ ‌have‌ ‌to‌ ‌make‌ ‌a‌ ‌difference,”‌ ‌said‌ ‌Lucious.‌ ‌“You‌ ‌see‌ ‌all‌ ‌of‌ ‌us‌ ‌out‌ ‌here?‌ ‌We‌ ‌Black,‌ ‌right?‌ ‌We‌ ‌want‌ ‌a‌ ‌difference.‌ ‌We‌ ‌want‌ ‌a‌ ‌change."‌ ‌

‌It‌ ‌took‌ ‌her‌ ‌a‌ ‌little‌ ‌over‌ ‌an‌ ‌hour‌ ‌to‌ ‌get‌ ‌inside‌ ‌and‌ ‌submit‌ ‌her‌ ‌ballot.‌ ‌Only‌ ‌a‌ ‌certain‌ ‌amount‌ ‌of‌ ‌people‌ ‌were‌ ‌allowed‌ ‌inside‌ ‌at‌ ‌a‌ ‌time.‌ ‌People‌ ‌were‌ ‌offered‌ ‌hand‌ ‌sanitizer‌ ‌or‌ ‌gloves‌ ‌when‌ ‌they‌ ‌entered‌ ‌to‌ ‌keep‌ ‌safe‌ ‌while‌ ‌voting‌ ‌in‌ ‌a‌ ‌pandemic.‌ ‌

Outside,‌ ‌people‌ ‌in‌ ‌line‌ ‌clapped‌ ‌for‌ ‌those‌ ‌who‌ ‌came‌ ‌back‌ ‌out‌ ‌after‌ ‌successfully‌ ‌voting.‌ Tasha‌ ‌Hall‌ ‌brought‌ ‌her‌ ‌nine-year-old‌ ‌son‌ ‌Xavier‌ ‌with‌ ‌her‌ ‌to‌ ‌learn‌ ‌a‌ ‌valuable‌ ‌lesson‌ ‌while‌ ‌witnessing‌ ‌it‌ ‌all.‌ ‌

"To‌ ‌realize‌ ‌that‌ ‌it's‌ ‌important‌ ‌no‌ ‌matter‌ ‌what‌ ‌you‌ ‌believe,”‌ ‌said‌ ‌Hall.‌ ‌“You‌ ‌have‌ ‌the‌ ‌right‌ ‌to‌ ‌your‌ ‌belief‌ ‌and‌ ‌exercise‌ ‌the‌ ‌right‌ ‌that's‌ given‌ ‌to‌ ‌you."‌ ‌

Long‌ ‌lines‌ ‌were‌ ‌not‌ ‌unique‌ ‌to‌ ‌early‌ ‌voting‌ ‌locations‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌city.‌ ‌In‌ ‌front‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌Irondequoit‌ ‌Public‌ ‌Library,‌ ‌a‌ ‌line‌ ‌went‌ ‌around‌ ‌the‌ ‌corner‌ ‌and‌ ‌down‌ ‌the‌ ‌street.‌ ‌Clinton‌ ‌Swingle‌ ‌said‌ ‌he‌ ‌is‌ ‌surprised‌ ‌New‌ ‌York‌ ‌state‌ ‌did‌ ‌not‌ ‌start‌ ‌early‌ ‌voting‌ ‌earlier‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌month.‌ ‌

"They‌ ‌need‌ ‌to‌ ‌be‌ ‌able‌ ‌to‌ ‌vote,”‌ ‌said‌ ‌Swingle.‌ ‌“People‌ ‌work‌ ‌for‌ ‌a‌ ‌living.‌ ‌They‌ ‌can't‌ ‌just‌ ‌come‌ ‌on‌ ‌a‌ ‌certain‌ ‌day‌ ‌at‌ ‌a‌ ‌certain‌ ‌time,‌ ‌you‌ ‌have‌ ‌to‌ ‌be‌ ‌flexible‌ ‌with‌ ‌the‌ ‌voting."‌ ‌

The same‌ ‌story took place‌ ‌at‌ ‌the‌ ‌Webster‌ ‌Recreation‌ ‌Center‌, with ‌‌a‌ ‌long‌ ‌winding‌ ‌line‌ ‌full‌ ‌of‌ ‌eager‌ ‌voters.‌ ‌

Meanwhile‌ ‌back‌ ‌in‌ ‌Rochester,‌ ‌the‌ ‌Black‌ ‌Bar‌ ‌Association‌ ‌led‌ ‌a‌ ‌march‌ ‌from‌ ‌the‌ ‌Liberty‌ ‌Pole‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌Gantt‌ ‌Recreation‌ ‌Center‌ ‌to‌ ‌get‌ ‌people‌ ‌excited‌ ‌for‌ ‌voting.‌ ‌Dozens‌ ‌of‌ ‌demonstrators‌ ‌jumped‌ ‌in‌ ‌line,‌ ‌while‌ ‌others‌ ‌passed‌ ‌out‌ ‌food‌ ‌and‌ ‌water,‌ ‌lifting‌ ‌the‌ ‌spirits‌ ‌of‌ everyone‌ ‌as‌ ‌they‌ ‌waited‌ ‌to‌ ‌exercise‌ ‌their‌ ‌rights‌ ‌early.‌ ‌ ‌

Spectrum News caught up with Republican election commissioner Lisa Nicolay, who said voters have been very patient waiting their turn to go inside and vote. 

She said it looks like previous early voting records are going to be broken just on the first day. 

"Previous early voting has not been well attended, only about 4% of the voting population has shown up over the ten days of early voting in the past. It looks like we're going to break that 4% in day one."

Early voting runs from Saturday, October 24 through Sunday, November 1.

Click on your county below for specific dates, times, and locations where you can cast your ballot: