DOBSON — On the eve of this year’s election, nearly half of the registered voters in the county already had cast their votes either through in-person early voting or via absentee ballot, Board of Elections Director Susan Jarrell said Monday.
By the time early voting polls closed at 1 p.m. Saturday, a total of 18,395 voters had cast their ballots, Jarrell said.
That total represents more than 40 percent of the county’s 44,864 registered voters, according to the elections director.
“It’s way, way up from normal elections,” she said. “This is the most turnout for early voting we’ve ever had.”
Jarrell said that during the 2008 presidential election, 38 percent of the county’s voters cast their ballots early, but this year’s numbers topped that total.
The total of early voters includes those casting their ballots by absentee voting or through in-person early voting.
And absentee ballots are still coming in, according to Jarrell.
“As long as they’re postmarked by election day we can receive them through Friday,” she said.
This year’s early voting totals also are fairly evenly split among political party.
Of the 18,395 votes cast, 7,089 listed themselves as Democrat, while 8,195 were listed as Republican. Forty voters listed themselves as members of the Libertarian Party, and the remaining 3,071 chose to not announce their party affiliation, according to Jarrell.
And the high early voting turnout could make things run smoother at the polls, the elections director said.
“I don’t expect there are going to be as many long lines Tuesday, since so many people voted early this year,” she said.
Reach Keith Strange at email@example.com or 719-1929.