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Clerks see strong turnout for early voting

VOTE: Election Clerks Betty Knox, left, and Tamey Sedwick have seen about double the usual number of voters at the absentee (early) voting center outside of the Clerk’s Office on the second floor of the Clinton County Courthouse. Registered voters can cast their ballots Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Knox said they typically see about 50 voters the first week but with an hour to go Friday, 108 ballots had been cast.

BY SHARON BARDONNER - sbardonner@ftimes.com

The polls outside of the Clinton County Clerk’s Office opened at 8 a.m. Tuesday for absentee voting and long-time Election Clerk Betty Knox expected to see four to five people amble up to the second floor of the courthouse to cast their ballots.

But the turnout so far has been robust, said Knox, who was staffing the voting station with Election Clerk Tamey Sedwick, another familiar face at election time.

“We’re doing well. We had about 22 people come through Tuesday,” she said.

As of Friday, just an hour before the courthouse closed for the weekend, the vote tally had reached 108.

“That’s really good,” said Knox. “The first week we’re lucky if we have 50 altogether. I think it’s that people are getting used to voting early and that they can vote at any voting center.”

Registered voters may cast in-person absentee ballots – which might be better defined as early ballots – any time the courthouse is open, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Knox noted that the clerk’s in-person absentee polls will also be open the last two Saturdays prior to the primary – April 28 and May 5, from 8 a.m.-3 p.m.

County residents should remember, too, that all of the courthouse offices are now open Thursday afternoons, allowing an extra four hours weekly for those who want to avoid the lines on Primary Election Day, Tuesday, May 8, when all of the county’s vote centers are open 6 a.m-6 p.m.