Early voters continue record pace

By Brian Knox | Published Saturday, October 27, 2012

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Records continue to fall as the first week of early voting wraps up today.

The record for most ballots cast in the first five days of early voting was shattered in just four days this year. By the end of the day Thursday, 4,263 votes had been cast in the Nov. 6 general election. As of the end of the day Friday, 5,382 votes had been cast.

The previous record for the first five days of early voting had been 3,526 set in 2008. In fact, the record was almost broken Wednesday when a total of 3,331 votes had been cast in the first three days.

Also, Tuesday’s single-day total of 1,366 votes shattered the previous single-day early voting record of 1,043 set on the last day of early voting in 2004. The polls were open extended hours of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. that day.

The last day of early voting is traditionally the busiest day, meaning Wise County has a chance to set a new record next week.

“I told our election judges, ‘If it holds true to form, this was our slow week,'” Noble said Friday.

The first day total of 985 also set a record that had previously been set in 2008.

Not surprisingly, the county is on pace to smash the previous two-week early voting total record of 8,517 set in 2008.

The increase in numbers is no doubt helped by the inclusion of a second and third voting location for the first time in a general election. In addition to the Decatur Civic Center, where early voting has been held since 2008 (it was previously held at the county clerk’s office), the Bridgeport Law Enforcement Center and Rhome City Hall were added as options this year. Through the end of the day Friday, 3,386 votes had been cast at the Decatur Civic Center, 1,105 in Rhome and 891 in Bridgeport.

Early voting will take place at Wal-Mart in Decatur 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. today (Saturday). Voting will continue next week, Monday through Friday, at the three locations listed above, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with extended hours of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. once again on Tuesday.

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