Early voting keeps poll workers busy

October 27, 2012

Hood County voters will have the opportunity to cast early ballots today from 7 to 7 at county Annex 1, 1410 W. Pearl St.

Saturday voting originally had not been scheduled, but Elections Administrator Lois Joplin said she was presented with a petition requesting Saturday voting hours.

Early voting will continue next week from 8 to 5 on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and then from 7 to 7 on Thursday and Friday. All early voting takes place at Annex 1.

The first week of early voting was hectic, with Hood County voters turning out in force – even more so than during the presidential election four years ago. By the time the polls closed at 5 p.m. Thursday, 5,019 people had voted, Joplin said, compared to 4,551 during the first four days of early voting in the presidential election four years ago.

An election worker said that turnout seemed to be pretty split between parties, and people seemed equally split on the bond referendum for a recreation center.

“They’re voting both parties, and they’re voting yes and no on the rec center,” Joplin said. “It’s going to be a matter of time to see which ones are winning.”

Precinct 1 voters also will determine the sale of beer and wine for off-premises consumption.

Joplin said that, currently, some stores that are not allowed to sell beer and wine are located within a short distance of competing stores that can legally sell those products. If approved, she said, the sale of beer and wine for off-premises consumption would be legal throughout Hood County with the exception of “one little strip of the county” in voting Precinct 2.

“It would take another 700 to 800 signatures to have included that one little voting precinct,” Joplin said, referring to a store owner’s petition that put the question on the ballot.

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