Early voting turnout doubles in Clark County compared to 2016, officials say

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SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (WDTN) – Election officials say Clark County’s early voting turnout has doubled compared to this point in the 2016 presidential election.

According to Jason Baker, director of the Clark County Board of Elections, officials chose to move early voting to the Clark State Performing Arts Center in downtown Springfield in anticipation of the higher turnout.

With social distancing and sanitizing stations in place, voters have been moving quickly through the early voting process in Clark County, often with a wait no longer than five to ten minutes, according to poll workers on site.

The board of elections has increased the number of poll workers for early voting to minimize wait times, Baker said.

“I think it’s great,” said Susan Lambert, who voted Wednesday. “I think they should have had the polls opened probably before now to make sure we got more votes in.”

“I think it’s good that the line is moving,” said Abby Castle, who voted Wednesday for the first time in a presidential election. “Hopefully people are still getting out and voting early.”

According to the Clark County Board of Elections, as of late Wednesday afternoon, 9,009 people have voted early in-person. Non-affiliated voters make up the biggest portion of ballots cast so far, with 3,534 votes.

The numbers for registered Democrats and Republicans who have voted in-person is currently separated by about 200 voters, with 2,631 and 2,835 ballots cast, respectively.

“Each day has been double what we did last presidential election,” Baker said.

As of late Wednesday afternoon, 20,759 people have requested mail-in ballots, and 14,336 have been returned, according to Clark County Board of Elections data.

Non-affiliated voters have mailed in 6,203 ballots, according to the board of elections. Registered Democrats have returned 4,689 mail-in ballots, and registered Republicans have mailed in 3,440 ballots.

“We planned for 30,000 voting by mail,” Baker said. “And we also planned for 30-thousand voting downtown. So with that being said, we are prepared for what happens.”

The county is still looking for 15 to 30 more poll workers for this election as some have chosen not to return due to the pandemic, Baker said.

“Our plan is to have four poll workers at each precinct, and then our plan is to have a couple extras there to walk around and sanitize equipment once the voter leaves,” he explained.

Anyone interested in becoming a poll worker should call the Clark County Board of Elections at 937-521-2120, Baker said.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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