Number of registered voters in Erie County doubles over ‘typical year’

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Interest in this year’s presidential election continues to snowball with now less than four weeks to go before the big day. That’s translated to a huge uptick in Erie county, which has seen the number of new registered voters double over a typical year. 

“In a presidential election year, there’s just no room for error,” said Erie County Elections Commissioner Len Lenihan. “There’s just not. This is as big as it gets.”

And as busy as it gets. 

The Erie county Board of Elections expects to register close to 8,000 new voters between the April 19 primary and Saturday’s deadline. 

The race between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald trump is expected to draw 70 percent of registered voters to the polls on Nov. 8. And it could be more. 

Along with the interest, comes some down-ballot benefits for candidates also running on Nov. 8. 

“Typically every year Republicans vote a little higher percentage than Democrats,” Lenihan said. “But this year, Democrats vote equal to Republicans, and of course there’s a lot more Democrats in Erie County. So the fact is, if you’re on the ballot running for a different office … you’re going to benefit from the turnout.”
Trump has hinted to a rigged ballot if he were to fall short next month. But while there may be concerns about security in some parts of the country, Erie County isn’t one of them, thanks to one key reason.
“Our election results are totally safe because we have a separate server,” Lenihan said. “We’re not part of the state system when it comes to collecting our voting results. We have a separate server. It is totally 100 percent secure. Nobody can hack into it.”
Voter registration in Erie county continues Saturday. The BOE will have special office hours from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on the first floor of the Rath building downtown.
The BOE is also looking for elections inspectors. Visit the agency’s website by clicking here. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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