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Election board gears up for high turnout

Norwalk Reflector Staff • Oct 29, 2015 at 12:09 PM

If the number of absentee ballots cast is any indication, voter turnout will be high in Huron County for Tuesday's primary.

"We had 450 absentee ballots cast in 2006," said Sharon Locke, deputy director. "We've got over 1,300 absentee ballots this year. That is usually a strong predictor of turnout."

Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner said Friday she expects 55 percent of registered voters to cast ballots, about 20 points higher than in 2004's primary.

In anticipation of voter concerns about electronic voting machines, the Huron County board of elections ordered 30 percent more paper ballots be available at each precinct than in the past.

Locke said the turnout Tuesday should be high, but weather might play a role in how many get to the polls. Predictions now call for rain this afternoon with some snow and sleet after midnight and some sleet and freezing rain Tuesday.

The other unknown for Tuesday's primary is poll workers. Locke said several long-time poll workers were out of town on vacation, but she managed to find replacements to have four workers at each of the county's 52 precincts. Now she's just hoping she doesn't run short due to illness.

"Knock on wood, we have enough right now," Locke said. "It seems the flu is going around. I lost two this morning and I replaced two this morning." But she's at the end of her list of possible replacements.

Six extra workers are delivering all the voting machines today and six extra workers in the office are handling other duties in the office to prepare for Tuesday.

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