The prospect of bad weather from the so-called superstorm did little to slow down early voting in Mount Airy, according to Elections Director Susan Jarrell.
On Monday afternoon Jarrell said turnout in both Mount Airy and Elkin was “heavy.”
“Today is the first day for our satellite sites in Mount Airy and Elkin,” she said, “we’ve been voting in our office since Oct. 18.”
“We’ve had a lot of voters,” she added, noting that when coupled with votes cast by absentee ballots and votes cast at election headquarters in Dobson, 7,460 votes have already been cast in the county — roughly 17 percent of the 44,471 registered voters.
But those numbers reflect not only votes cast in person.
“It’s important to remember that those numbers include the mail-out ballots that have been returned,” she said.
Jarrell said she isn’t surprised at the turnout, despite yesterday’s unfavorable weather.
“This is a presidential election year, and we always have considerably higher turnout,” she said. “This is a pretty contentious race on the national level with a lot of media attention. (Voters) have been bombarded with ads for the past month.”
While the weather may be a factor in other areas of the state, Jarrell said it isn’t stopping county residents from turning out to the polls.
“I don’t think it’s having much of an impact at all,” she said. “People are wrapping up and coming out to vote regardless. I’ve heard that some of the coastal counties are having some problems, but it doesn’t seem to be affecting us much here.”
And voters aren’t having to spend much time waiting to cast their ballots, according to the election director.
“So far, our wait times haven’t exceeded 15 minutes,” she said. “But as we get closer to election day, we may get more voters turning out and that may mean a longer wait.”
According to numbers provided by the county Board of Elections, both Democrats and Republicans are coming out en force.
As of 1:30 p.m. Monday, out of the 7,460 votes already cast in the county, 2,846 voters were registered Democrats, while 3,403 were registered Republicans. The Libertarian Party recorded 12 voters casting their ballots early, while the remaining 1,199 reported no party affiliation.
Jarrell said voting early isn’t much different than voting during the General Election on Nov. 6.
“It’s exactly like voting on election day,” she said. “You go in and state your name and address.”
North Carolina also offers voters the chance to register and vote on the same day.
“To register and vote at the same time at the early voting site, you only need a proper ID card with your current address,” Jarrell said.
Reach Keith Strange at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-1929.