By Tia Lynn Ivey
Internet access to nearly 6 million Early Voters kicked off on October 17, and Morgan County voters are breaking records for early votes cast in this election. According to Bobby Howington, elections supervisor for Morgan County, the rate of early voting has tripled from previous election years with an average of more than 300 ballots cast per day since Early Voting began on Oct. 17. As of press time on Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2239 ballots have been cast early.
“It’s set a record,” said Howington. “The rate is much higher than we’ve ever seen before.”
According to Howington, early voting was first held in Morgan County back during the 2008 Presidential Election cycle in race between Sitting President Barack Obama and Republican Senator John McCain.
“Early voting helps handle the volume of voters,” said Howington.
Early voting for the 2008 election, as well as the 2012 election cycle, yielded between 70-100 ballots cast each day during the Early Voting window.
Howington believes the increase is due to the three contested local races on the ballot, in addition to the particularly contentious presidential race between Democratic Nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican Nominee Donald Trump.
“People want to get their vote on these races, we have never done
this many this early,” said Howington. “We are thrilled to see the turnout. We hope it will continue to be a record-setting turnout,” said Howington.
Early Voting will continue until Friday, November 4 at the Morgan County Board of Elections and Registration, located at 434 Hancock Street in Madison. Early voting is available Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The office will also be open for early voting, this Saturday, Oct. 29, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
On Election Day, November 8, all seven Morgan County precincts will be open for voting from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.