More than 2,200 Monroe County residents have already voted

Herald-Times: Just over 950 people voted early on Friday as the first week of early voting for the upcoming general election came to an end.

 

Just over 950 people voted early on Friday as the first week of early voting for the upcoming general election came to an end.

Over the past three days, 2,283 people went to Election Central at the corner of West Seventh and North Madison streets to vote. On the first day of early voting, 925 people voted. That is 300 more people than came out during the first week of early voting in the primary, just over 400 more than the first day of early voting in the 2012 election and just over 200 more than the 2008 general election.

The number of voters dropped slightly on Thursday, to 888 people.

Local party leaders are for the most part pleased to see such high numbers during the first three days of early voting. Democratic Party Chairman Mark Fraley said the numbers so far are encouraging and reflective of the unique character of this election.

“We have several high-profile races, by which, a few votes may make a huge difference,” Fraley said.

He added this level of political engagement reminds him of the 2008 election, when Monroe County had a record turnout. In addition, he said, more people are embracing the early voting option as a more convenient way to vote.

“It’s certainly strong at the outset,” Fraley said. “It wouldn’t surprise me if we see a bit of a lull after the initial burst. Though I expect the final weeks of early voting to be incredibly strong.”

Republican Party Chairman William Ellis said he is excited that the county is seeing a strong show of voter participation. But he also has some concerns.

“They are sick of this election,” Ellis said, referring to some of the answers he has heard from both Democrat and Republican supporters on why they are voting early.

Ellis said he hopes residents who are choosing to vote early are doing so after weighing their options very carefully. He said there has been a lot of information about candidates, from presidential to local, circulated throughout the community to hopefully aid the voter in making choices.

If a voter’s mind is already made up, Ellis said, early voting is definitely a good option. But if someone is still undecided, he said, his recommendation is to hold off a little while longer to make sure they have truly considered who the candidates are and their positions.

“I’d rather people make educated choices,” Ellis said.

He said even with the strong start to early voting, he is still not sure what the final voter turnout would be once polls close on Nov. 8. He said he expects it to be a very strong turnout, but not record-breaking for Monroe.

Early voting for Monroe County

At Election Central only (401 W. Seventh St.)

• Monday-Friday next week: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

At Election Central or North Showers (501 N. Morton St., Room 201-202)

• Oct. 24-29: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

• Oct. 31-Nov. 5: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

• Nov. 7: 8 a.m. to noon