Voters casting ballots early
County voters started casting ballots last week for the Nov. 4 election, and more are expected to take advantage of early voting and absentee ballots.
“I haven’t checked how many, but it’s becoming more and more prevalent for people to want to vote earlier and vote by mail,” County Clerk Tina Spencer said.
U.S. Senate candidate Chad Taylor’s withdrawal from the race Sept. 3 delayed ballot printing and threatened the start of advanced voting as judges sorted out the legality of the move and whether the Democratic Party had to offer a substitute candidate. Spencer said the resolution of the case came just in time.
“I wanted to wait to make sure we had our ballots and proof them and test them before we had to meet our mailing deadline,” she said.
Voting in person at the courthouse started Oct. 14 and is available until election day, and Spencer said she will keep the office open until 8 p.m. on Tuesday to give early voters an option to accommodate work schedules.
“We’ll see how that goes,” Spencer said. “I hope we’ll have a good response.”
Voters who want to vote by mail have until Oct. 31 to apply for a ballot, but Spencer recommended people apply earlier to ensure their vote gets counted.
“We have to have the ballots back in our hands before polls close on election day,” Spencer said.
Incomplete registrations lacking proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate or passport, have 73 county voters in limbo, Spencer said. Registration rules state voters can present acceptable proof in person or electronically by Nov. 3 to be eligible to vote.
Spencer said her office has notified those with incomplete registrations what they need to do, but doesn’t anticipate many will follow through.
“We make multiple contacts with these people, and most of them don’t get back with us,” she said.
Last modified Oct. 23, 2014