New record for early voting in Union County

Published: Friday, Nov. 2, 2012 10:38 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Nov. 2, 2012 11:19 a.m. CDT
(CNA photo by KYLE WILSON)
With assistance from Election Deputy Tandy Steele, Bob Murray of Afton, left, fills out paperwork prior to casting an absentee ballot Thursday afternoon. Murray is one of 2,761 early voters in Union County this year.

With less than four days remaining until Election Day (Nov. 6), a new record has been set for early voting in Union County.

Sandy Hysell, county auditor, said as of 8:30 a.m. this morning 2,761 absentee votes have been cast in Union County, meaning more than 36 percent of the 7,595 registered voters have already decided who they’re voting for.

The previous record was set in 2008 when 2,734 early votes were cast.

“We’ve heard several different reason why people are voting early,” Hysell said. “They say they like the convenience. They say they like it because they don’t like standing in line on Election Day. Some are saying they will be out of town on Election Day. Some have asked us, ‘If I vote early will they stop calling me?’ We’ve heard a lot of that, which is kind of funny.”

Hysell said, since September, she’s had a steady flow of early voters.

And, over the past two weeks her office is averaging about 25 to 50 early voters placing ballots personally at her office and about 35 to 50 absentee votes by mail each day.

Early voting is expected to set records statewide, too.

Chad Olsen, chief-of-staff to Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz, told the Des Moines Register last week Iowa is on pace for a higher percentage of early votes than in 2008, when more than one-third of Iowa’s 1.54 million votes were cast early.

Hysell said county residents can request an absentee ballot by mail up until 5 p.m. today and absentee voting can be made in person at the auditor’s office up until 5 p.m. Monday.

Hysell added the auditor’s office will be open special hours for voters from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

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