DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — The Montgomery County Board of Elections reports more than 20,000 people have already voted early at the county building. The county is now averaging several thousand voters every day.
There was a steady stream of people throughout the day Tuesday. Since people are spaced out six feet apart it may look longer than it really is. Most people say it took a relatively short 20 minutes to get through, and having that peace of mind was worth it.
Terrence Campbell of Dayton says, “I voted in person forever, and we put on our masks and we decided it’s worth the risk this year because it’s so important.”
Kevin Whaley says, “It wasn’t really all that bad. I thought it was going to take a little longer than it usually does. But they kept everyone spaced out, they kept it flowing evenly.”
Thousands of people again braved the rain and the coronavirus risk to line up at the county building Tuesday and vote, a sign that enthusiasm is not waning.
At the halfway point of the early voting period, more than 20,000 people have come to vote in person. Board of Elections Director Jan Kelly says, “Yesterday, it was raining, we thought we’d have a few people, we had 2,426 people casting their votes. It’s been busy.”
And it’s busy behind the scenes, as the board is working to process more than 60,000 absentee ballots that have already been returned, which takes a few days. Kelly says, “It’s not just like ‘hey you dropped your ballot off, great. All’s good and well and your ballot’s been processed.’ it takes a number of steps and handling of that ballot in order for you to track your ballot on our webpage or the secretary of state’s.”
Some voters feel more confident with in person voting. Whaley says, “I didn’t want to wait and put it in the mail because you never know these days. Post office is losing funding. So it made sense to just come here and do it.”
Others need the convenience. Vickie Faulkner is going in for surgery next week, so she planned ahead. “I usually vote on election day, but with going into the hospital, I need to vote early.”
With the high number of early voters, the Board of Elections does not expect election day to be as busy as originally expected. Jan Kelly says the board hasn’t had to address many issues as nearly everyone is respecting the social distancing guidelines.
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