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Thursday, Apr. 28, 2016

No problems at the polls during primary

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Clay County Election Board members Holly Froderman (left) and Rick Alumbaugh sort the voting results while Clay County Information Services Director Scott Hill (back) updates the numbers Tuesday night. Jason Jacobs Photo.
Like many areas across the state, Clay County had an increased voter turnout, but without the problems.

"Everything went really smooth this year," Clay County Clerk Mary Brown said. "The only problem we had was that some of the lights on a few of the polling stations went out, but nothing that hampered residents ability to vote."

The first precinct results to come in was from the voting district of Jackson 3, while the final ballots came in around 8:30 p.m., from Van Buren 3, which Brown said is the time the last ones typically come in.

Parts of the state had to print extra ballots with the extended turnout, which is a problem Clay County did not encounter.

"Since we have electronic balloting, we didn't have to worry about rushing around to print out extra ballots," Brown said. "It was great to see the large turnout though."

A total of 8,085 ballots were cast for Tuesday's primary, which accounted for 41.66 percent of the 19,406 registered voters in Clay County. In comparison, voter turnout in the county was 25.32 in the 2006 Primary Election, and 29.3 percent during the last presidential primary in 2004.

"It will be interesting to see how big of an increase we see in the fall," Brown said. "During the 2004 General Election, 55.6 percent of the registered voters cast a ballot, and at this rate, this year's could be even bigger."

The largest precinct turnout came from Jackson 3, with 55.14 percent, which was the only precinct with more than half of their registered voters show up.

There was also a large increase in absentee ballots filed.

This year, 837 ballots were cast through early voting, absentee ballots and the traveling board, which more than doubles the amount in 2006 when 381 were cast in the Primary Election.

Of the five precincts with a turnout of less than 40 percent, four of them (Brazil 1, 3, 4 and 6) were in Brazil, bottoming out at 25.11 percent in Brazil 6.

The 2008 General Election will take place Tuesday, Nov. 4.

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