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Voting early often

Many local voters take advantage of pre-Election Day opportunities

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012 5:00 a.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012 4:26 p.m. CDT
Caption
(Herald Photo by Lisa Pesavento)
Donna Widoe casts an in-person absentee vote Monday afternoon, Nov. 5, at the Grundy County Courthouse in Morris. For those who did not vote early, the polls will be open from 6 a.m. until 7 p.m. today, Tuesday, Nov. 6.

By Monday, the day before the general election, Grundy County voters had already been out in large number to cast their ballots.

The Grundy County Clerk's office has been busy, County Clerk Lana Phillips confirmed.

"That is good, because there are a lot of people exercising their right to vote," she said.

The Grundy County Clerk's office has seen 173 grace-period votes, compared to 89 during the 2008 presidential election. Early-voting numbers are slightly lower than in 2008, but there is one fewer week of early voting this election. There have been 2,585 early voting ballots cast this year, compared to 2,672 in 2008.

The office mailed out 681 absentee ballots and has received 589 returns so far. As long as absentees are post marked by Nov. 5, they will be taken for the next two weeks. The office has also received 282 in-person absentees. Provisional ballots will not be totaled until Thursday, according to the office.

Rumors circulated around the community last week that there was an issue with early voting casts. Two voters reported to the clerk's office that they had trouble placing their vote for presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

When they used the touch screen to vote for him, it came back saying they voted for President Barack Obama. Before their votes were officially cast, they both were able to correct their votes.

The two voters who had issues were both asked if they were comfortable with their ballots and that they had been cast correctly and both said yes, said Phillips. The incidents occurred Oct. 24.

It appeared to be a computer glitch with the touch screen and the amount of time the person has to hold their finger on their choice, said Phillips. From that point on, early voters were given pencils do they could use the eraser end on the touch screen, which worked without a problem, she said.

"Since that time, I am not aware of any incidents," Phillips said.

When using the touch screen for early voting, voters touch their candidates for all the races. When they are finished, a screen appears that shows all of their votes so the voter can check them on the screen. Then the ballot is printed so the voter can check their votes on paper as well. This allows them two opportunities to check and change their vote if need be.

Once the voter has checked their votes, they can officially cast their ballot on the screen.

Election results will be available online Tuesday night at Morris Daily Herald's Election Central 2012 web page, http://elections.morrisdailyherald.com/. Full coverage of the election will also appear in Wednesday's edition of the Morris Daily Herald.

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