Lake election clerks expecting record voter turnout

Lake Sun Leader

From curbside voting to a crew of emergency first responders, lake area county clerks are taking multiple routes to make certain registered voters have the means to cast a ballot in the upcoming election. 

Heading into the election clerk’s are predicting anywhere from 75% to 80% or more of the registered voters in the lake area will cast a ballot by the time polls close on Tues., Nov. 3. Counties have exceeded 2016’s previous record absentee voting. 

As of Oct. 30, Camden County has received 5, 652 ballots through absentee and mail-in. In 2016, Miller County had 1,021 absentee ballots. So far in 2020, mail-ins and absentee are at 2,000 and rising. Morgan County has nearly doubled the 950 absentee ballots turned in prior to Election Day in 2016 with 1,600 received by the end of the week. 

Camden has 33,471 registered voters; Miller has 17,923 and Morgan is at 13,000. 

With five days to go before the 2020 Presidential election and the deadline for requesting mail-in ballots long passed, there are still ways for registered voters to cast a ballot. Curbside and absentee voting will continue until Election Day. 

While it is too late to receive an absentee ballot by mail, if you won’t be able to vote on Tuesday, you can cast an absentee ballot in person at the clerk’s office in the county where you reside prior to the election.  Clerks offices will be open from 8:00 am to noon on Sat., Oct. 31. 

Voters can also cast ballots curbside up to election day in Camden, Miller and Morgan counties. Call ahead for details beforehand. 

Morgan County Clerk Aimee Worthily said her office is doing everything they can within the law and with available resources to accommodate voters, especially those who have just recently been diagnosed with COVID-19 or who have been unexpectedly placed in quarantine. 

With the anticipated his turnout,  clerks in Miller, Morgan and Camden counties are encouraging registered voters who plan to vote in-person to be prepared to wait in line to cast their ballot and to practice social distancing at the polls. 

Miller County Clerk Clinton Jenkins said the county has been able to set up 2 teams of emergency first responders to work with election officials to get ballots to those who have just been diagnosed with COVID-19 or quarantined. Miller County registered voters who find themselves in that situation should call the clerk’s office. 

State law requires all ballots to be securely stored and are opened and screened by election judges on the day of the election. Unofficial results will be posted on election night.