The midterm election, Tuesday, Nov. 6, is less than a week away and Buchanan County Clerk Mary Baack-Garvey is projecting 55 percent voter turnout.
The primary election in August saw a turnout 10 points higher than the one four years ago. Many believe the right-to-work proposition played a part, but it’s hard to know whether that also will influence next Tuesday.
“I think a lot of people were very passionate about that, along with some highly contested races, and now here we are at the midterm elections in November, and it’s pivotal for both parties, so that’s why I think we’re seeing a higher turnout, along with the props that are on the back of the ballot now,” Baack-Garvey said.
There is one hard number that her office can reference now, which can be an early indicator.
As of Wednesday morning “we’ve had a total of about 1,365 votes, absentee voting, that’s a combination of mail and people that come to the counter and military,” Baack-Garvey said. “So that’s pretty good — to me — a good outlook of the turnout that’s going to be happening on Tuesday, so we’re looking pretty good for a 55 percent turnout.”
Absentee voting is not available for people who want to vote early as there has to be a reason behind the request, such as a work requirement that won’t allow you to vote on Tuesday, Nov. 6. In that instance, registered voters can go to the Buchanan County Courthouse and request an absentee ballot until Monday at 5 p.m. That includes Saturday between 8 a.m. and noon.
“You have to have an excuse as to why you are voting absentee, so people don’t think, ‘Well I’m going to vote early so I don’t have to wait in line,’ you have to have an excuse and mark that on your application when you vote,” Baack-Garvey said.
This midterm election has a lot of things to vote on, and if you go to the Buchanan County Clerk’s website, you can click a link that will take you to the Secretary of State’s website. There, you can put in your address and get a copy of a sample ballot.
“I would print off a sample ballot to take with you to the polling place,” Baack-Garvey said. “So you have a cheat sheet right there, you’re not there voting for 15 minutes and you’re done quicker.”