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Locke expects 'busy Election Day'

Cary Ashby • Nov 1, 2018 at 9:00 PM

Lori Long took her school-age daughter with her to the Huron County Board of Elections to get her absentee-voting paperwork Thursday.

Long has been doing absentee voting for the last three years. If she votes early, she said she has to know how to vote at the time and if she completes an absentee ballot, she can do some research on the candidates and figure out if “no means no.”

A few minutes after Long left, a Bellevue couple arrived to vote early — their first time to do so. The wife, who declined to be named, said she and her husband decided to vote Thursday “because we might be busy Tuesday.”

The woman also said she’s somewhat afraid to vote early “because they might get rid of the precincts.”

Huron County residents have four more opportunities to vote early. The board of elections will be open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. today, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday. Tuesday is Election Day.

“This week we’ve stayed steady,” director Sharon Locke said, referring to early-voting turnout. “It started in the 60s; now we’re up to the 100s.”

An average of 69 people voted each day for the first six days. The most people came to vote Oct. 15 — 85 voters, compared to 48 three days later. Sixty-six people came for the first day of early voting, Oct. 10.

“It’s busier than in 2014; we’re past 2014 numbers,” Locke said.

In 2014, a total of 3,966 people voted early. Board of elections statistics indicate that as of the close of business Wednesday, 5,311 had voted so far.

“We’re not going to get close to our presidential numbers,” Locke said.

During the most recent presidential election, in 2016, about 8,500 Huron County residents voted early. 

Locke was asked if the big numbers for early voting could have an impact on attendance for Election Day.

“I think we’ll be busy Election Day,” she said. “I think people are engaged and involved and want to make a difference.”

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