As election day approaches, lake area county clerks are gearing up for a voter turnout reminiscent of the 2008 Presidential Election.
Clerks are predicting anywhere from a 70 to 80% turnout on Nov. 6 when lake area voters head to the polls. Clerks are recommending voters come early, be ready to wait in line and have their voter registration card or driver's license with them.
Polls open at 6 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. across the state. Voters who are in line waiting when polls close, will be allowed to cast their ballot, according to the Camden County Clerk Rowland Todd's office.
According to Todd's office, if voters will produce their registration card at the polls it will help speed up the waiting. The cards have a barcode now and poll workers can scan them. If voters do not have a new one and contact the Camden County clerk's office early enough, they will get a replacement out to them. If not, voters can give the poll workers their driver's license and they can be scanned as well.
Interest in the election has generated a flood of requests for absentee ballots from registered voters who will not be able to cast their ballot in person. In Camden County alone, more than 1,600 absentee ballots have been cast. Morgan and Miller are also seeing a large number of absentee ballots.
Those ballots will be the first counted on election night, followed by precinct returns and last to come in will be the write-in returns.
Morgan County Clerk Cathy Daniels said it is not too late for voters to cast an absentee ballot.
A voter may cast their absentee ballot after signing an affidavit indicating the reason they will be away from their poll on election day. If the voter is going to be gone, they may absentee vote in the clerk's office during regular business hours, which is 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. An absentee ballot may also be requested by mail or fax, as well.
Daniels said when requesting a ballot in this manner, the following information is required: The actual request for an absentee ballot, the reason they need to vote absentee, their signature, date and phone number. Voters will need to indicate where the ballot needs to be mailed.
"A parent may come into our office and sign an Application for Official Absentee Ballot for their child who is away at college. If you, as a parent, are requesting a ballot, please remember to bring the address where the ballot will need to be mailed," she said. "If a voter comes to the courthouse and is unable to come in and vote, we are happy to come outside and accommodate the voter."
Page 2 of 2 - Voters who chose to absentee vote by mail, the deadline for mailing a ballot from the clerk's office is Wed., Oct. 31. When voting by mail, the affidavit on the outside of the envelope where your ballot is placed will need to be signed by the voter in the presence of a Notary Public. Clerk's can accept your absentee ballot up until the close of business on election day.
Daniels said voters often ask about how the absentee ballots being counted. "We have a bi-partisan team that comes in on election day to process these ballots," she said. "We post the absentee results first on election night as soon as the polls close."
Daniels said her office will be open on Sat., Nov. 3, 2012 from 8:00 am to noon for absentee voting. Just like when you vote at your polling location, identification is required before you can cast your ballot.
75 - 80% Camden County
79% Miller County
75% Morgan County
31,000 Camden County
21,303 Miller County
12,864 Morgan County