Absentee voting underway, May 13 last day to request paper ballots for primary

Posted May 7, 2014 at 2:06 pm

The primary election is now less than two weeks away and early voting has now begun on two fronts–from those who have to vote via absentee ballot and others who will be out of the county on May 20 and chose to vote on the voting machine at the County Clerk’s Office.

The number of absentee ballots actually cast was about normal compared to most past local elections. According to County Clerk Shelia Booher, as of last Thursday, May 1, 178 absentee ballots had been mailed to voters who cannot vote at polling places on election day with 95 having being returned. A total of 20 persons had cast ballots “in-house” by absentee on the voting machine, or just over 100 official absentee votes cast with a little less than three weeks prior to election day.

In the 2010 county-wide election, some 470 people voted absentee–231 people voting by paper ballot and another 239 on the voting machine in the clerk’s office.

The 2014 May primary will see some 7,557 registered voters eligible to cast ballots in Clinton County. Of that total, 6,102 are registered Republican, 1,339 Democrat and 116 “other” party registrants.

A moderate to heavier than usual turnout is expected at the polls in Clinton County during the primary, with not only several county races on the ballot, but a closely contested state senate race in the district as well in the GOP race.

The voting machine in the clerk’s office will be open through the close of business on Monday, May 19 and persons needing to vote via a paper absentee ballot have until next Tuesday, May 13 to request a ballot be mailed. Voted ballots must be returned to the clerk’s office not later than election day.

Persons eligible to vote by absentee ballot are the elderly or those with medically related problems that prevent them from getting to a polling place on election day.

Booher would also like to remind some residents about the recent magisterial redistricting.

Every 10 years after a U.S. Census is conducted, federal and state reapportionment laws require counties to reapportion and redistrict according to the population. Since the 2010 Census, Clinton Fiscal Court approved the new reapportionment lines of the magisterial districts in Clinton County that was presented to them by the County Reapportionment Committee.

After local approval and approval by the State Board of Elections and Legislative Research Commission, the local County Boards of Elections was required by federal and state law to move voters affected by these changes to their correct magisterial district and precinct.

Booher said that all those voters affected by the change and who will be voting in a new location this year have been notified by mail. However, she noted that anyone who has any questions or concerns should call the clerk’s office at 387-5943.