Polk cast 651 early votes on first dayPublished 12:45pm Friday, October 19, 2012
Early voting continues through Nov. 3
It may have seemed like Election day last Thursday, Oct. 18 at the Polk County Board of Elections Office as long lines were a part of the first day of one-stop, or early voting.
Residents cast 651 votes on the first day, something that Polk County Board of Elections Director Dale Edwards said is likely a record first day.
“It probably was the biggest first day,” Edwards said. “It was so busy at the beginning that I gave voters numbers and sat them in the (commissioners) courtroom to wait to be called.”
Edwards said at times there were more than 30 people waiting.
Of the 651 total votes, 499 were cast at the board of elections office in Columbus. Other places to vote early are at the Green Creek Community Center, which saw 90 early voters last Thursday and at the Mill Spring Fire Department, which saw 62 early voters last Thursday.
Qualified Polk residents can also register to vote as long as they early vote at the same time they register. There were eight voters who registered on the first day of early voting.
It is impossible to compare the first day totals with other election year first day totals as final records aren’t kept by day, but in 2010 Polk County voted 4,054 of its total votes early. In 2008, the last presidential election, Polk County turned out 4,970 early voters.
Early voting continues to grow nationwide, with nearly 1/3 of voting estimated to be done prior to Election Day.
Currently, Polk County has a total of 15,210 registered voters with that number proposed to increase by the end of early voting. Republicans continue to have the most registered voters in Polk County with a total of 5,330. Registered democrats in Polk County are 4,853 with 4,988 registered unaffiliated voters and 39 registered Libertarians.
At the close of the 2010 election, Polk County had 14,934 registered voters, with 5,332 registered Republicans, 4,923 registered Democrats, 4,661 registered as Unaffiliated and 18 registered Libertarians.
Early voting continues Monday through Friday at the Polk County Board of Elections Office from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. and at the Mill Spring Fire Department and Green Creek Family Life Center Monday through Friday from noon to 7 p.m.
Sat., Nov. 3 will be the only Saturday locations are open for early voting and will be the last day to vote early. All three locations will be open on Nov. 3 from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.
Election day is Tuesday, Nov. 6 where all Polk polling places will be open from 6:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m.