Absentee voting has exploded in Marshall County this year as now 9,056 voters have cast their ballot with the election still more than a week away.
The big absentee number is 36 percent of the registered voters in the county and County Auditor Dawn Williams expects absentee voting to account for more than 50 percent of voter turnout in this election.
The previous record in Marshall County for absentee voting was 8,004 in 2008 and that was 43 percent of registered voters.
T-R PHOTO BY ANDREW POTTER
Cindy Reutzel, left, of the Marshall County Auditor’s Office, helps Dorothy Christensen, of Clemons, during a precinct workers training course at the courthouse Friday. As of Friday more than 9,000 voters have cast their ballots via absentee voting for this election.
"Political parties are pushing absentee voting really hard this year," Williams said. "That way there's nothing left to chance come election day."
The county has had 1,500 vote at the courthouse so far and also reached voters at satellite locations at Hy-Vee and Legends recently. Williams feels anytime they can get more people to vote it benefits the county.
"People voting is a great thing," she said. "Whether they vote on election day or absentee ballot."
Absentee voting in recent presidential election years in Marshall County
2012 (as of Oct. 26) - 9,056
2008 - 8,004
2004 - 7,995
2000 - 5,708
Williams was holding a refresher course for precinct workers Friday afternoon in the courthouse and plans to have 130 paid precinct workers this year, who earn $8 an hour.
She said even though absentee voting is up, she still expects her staff to have a busy day on the election Nov. 6. Williams is also hoping the vote tabulation doesn't go into overtime this year, though they are taking precautions just in case of a recount in an expected close presidential election.
"It's expected to be that close," Williams said.
The courthouse rotunda absentee voting is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Nov. 3 and Nov. 5 and from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday next week. For more information, call the auditor's office at 641-754-6302.