The Erie County Board of Elections says it has received more than 1,000 absentee ballot requests since Monday for the June primary.
Gov, Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order that took effect Monday, allowing anyone to use the absentee process for the June 23 election. It is meant to reduce traffic and the potential spread of Covid-19 at polling places.
"Although we are hoping the public health emergency will have eased by then, people are clearly concerned and responding to an option that keeps them safe and still allows them to have their say," said Republican Commissioner Ralph Mohr.
"The concern here is two-fold: to protect voters and our election workers and make sure no voter is disenfranchised by the pandemic. It's heartening to see these kinds of numbers and we hope that trend continues," said Democratic Commissioner Jeremy Zellner.
The June contests include the special election for the vacant 27th Congressional seat formerly held by Clarence Republican Chris Collins, as well as the presidential primary.
Mail-in absentee ballots can be requested on the BOE website.