HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. - Regina Kelly joined dozens of early risers Tuesday morning as Hastings residents came out at 6 a.m. in 30-degree temperatures to vote at the James Harmon Community Center on Main Street.
"This is an important election and I have been voting since I was 18 (I'm 56)," Kelly said. "People need to be informed about the issues and come out to vote. I'm very worried about this election in places where voters may be kept from casting votes."
Poll workers prepared registration logs, readied the ballot scanners and open the voting right at 6 a.m. as residents were on hand beginning at 5:40 waiting to vote.
Jim Metzger, a Democratic Party district leader and 13-year resident of the village, was there to monitor the election.
"Each party can have a representative here at the polling places through the day and at 9 p.m. when the machines are opened for the count," Metzger said. "We then verify the counts from the machines. The process goes very smoothly unless there are problems with the machines, which happened in 2008. But election officials are here to make sure things go well."
Residents moved quickly through the process of finding their election districts, signing in and filling in their paper ballots before placing them in the scanner. The voting process took most voters less than five minutes from check-in to scan.
"I'm always excited about the election process," Metzger said. "And it looks like a big turnout this year. We usually don't see this many people here at 6 a.m. It's nice to see the place so busy."
New York State voters have until 9 p.m. to cast their ballots.
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