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Early voting numbers on the rise

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The number of registered voters in Clay County is slowly increasing, but they are rushing to cast their ballots early.

"There are still about 250 registrations still pending, but as of right now, there are 19,627 voters registered for the General Election," Deputy Clerk Beth Mallinak said.

The amount is a slight increase from the primary election where 19,406 residents registered to vote.

However, Mallinak said the Election Office is experiencing a larger amount of early voters in anticipation for what could be a potentially historic election.

"Early voting has only been available for eight days, but we have already had 414 come in to cast their ballot," Mallinak told The Brazil Times Thursday. "The rush is a lot heavier than it has been before."

Averaging more than 50 voters per day, the number of early voters could far and away surpass the 837 absentee ballots cast for the primary election in May. The office already has had more early voters than the 14th day of absentee voting for the primary, when approximately 200 had cast a ballot.

"It has been very busy and it will probably become busier as the election nears," Mallinak said.

During the first couple weeks of early voting, some residents have voiced some concerns about being able to vote.

"Even if you didn't vote in the primary, you can still vote as long as you are registered," she said. "Residents who haven't voted in the last two general elections may have their registration cancelled, but those who are currently registered can vote."

Another concern regarded the ability to cast write-in votes.

According to the Election Office, write-in votes are also done electronically.

Voters would need to press the button marked for write-in votes and a separate box will appear allowing them to manually type in the name of who they want to vote for.

Early voting continues to be available at the Election Office, located on the second floor of the Clay County Courthouse, every Monday-Friday through Oct. 31, from 8-11 a.m. and noon-4 p.m.

There will also be two Saturdays, Oct. 25 and Nov. 1, where polls will be open at the same location from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., as well as from 8 a.m.-noon, Nov. 3, the day prior to the general election.

For more information, contact the Clay County Election Office at 448-9023, or by fax at 446-9602.

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I think this is a good idea. The weather will probably be a problem in November. Just in case, Im going to vote early!

Get out and VOTE!!

-- Posted by Pearl2083 on Tue, Oct 21, 2008, at 12:48 PM

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