Record early voter turnout continued this week in Fayette County as approximately 38 percent of all registered voters have already cast their ballots.
As of Friday afternoon, the Fayette County Board of Elections website reported 6,475 have voted early or have requested a ballot. This total includes 3,775 voters who voted at the board of elections office.
The total also includes 3,329 non-partisan voters, 2,247 registered Republicans, 897 registered Democrats and one Green Party voter.
The voting total this year, with three days of early voting still to go, already far surpasses the total number of absentee ballots cast in Fayette County in the 2016, 2012 and 2008 Presidential general elections. In 2016 there were 3,674 absentee votes; in 2012 there were 3,913; and in 2008 there were 3,192.
Of the approximately 2,500 ballots the local board of elections mailed out from absentee ballot requests, 425 had not been returned to the office as of Friday morning.
“In order for these ballots to be counted Election Night, we need to receive them in our office by 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday,” said Beth Ann Snyder, director of the Fayette County Board of Elections. “If you’re going to mail it back to us it has to be postmarked by the day before the election — November 2nd.”
Ballots can be placed in a drop box that is located at the front of the board of elections building, 135 S. Main St. in Washington C.H., at the end of the ramp going into the office. If ballots are placed in the drop box by 7:30 p.m. on Election Night, they will be included in the unofficial totals that night.
There are three days left for early in-person voting: today from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday from 1-5 p.m.; and Monday (the day before the election) from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Early voting can only be done at the board of elections office, not at voter polling places.
“After 2 there is no more early voting, it goes right into Election Day,” said Snyder. “We don’t anticipate long lines at the polling places this year because of all the early voting.”
Polling stations may look a little different this year due to health and safety precautions made because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The polling locations will be set up a little bit different,” said Snyder. “This is not only to keep the poll workers safe, but for the voters to have a safe environment where they can feel comfortable coming to vote.”
Voters are asked to wear a mask to the polls and if you don’t have one, a mask will be provided.
Snyder also took time to thank the dedicated poll workers in Fayette County.
“We’re awful lucky that we have these dedicated workers who are sticking with us during a pandemic and making the commitment to work on Election Day,” she said. “We have several new people who have stepped up as poll workers, so please treat them nicely. And the more experienced ones who have been able to stick with us, we really want to give a big compliment to them.”
The big draw for this election is undoubtedly the Presidential contest between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden. However locally, there is still an important race and several levies on the ballot.
In Fayette County, the only contested race on the ballot is for Fayette County Sheriff. Leonard E. Sines is running as an independent against the current sheriff, Vernon P. Stanforth, a Republican.
Also for county voters is an EMS three-year, 1.3-mill renewal levy that funds ambulance and emergency medical services in Fayette County.
In Green Township, there is a two-mill, five-year renewal levy for providing and maintaining fire apparatus.
In the Village of Milledgeville, there is a five-year, eight-mill renewal levy for current expenses.
In Madison Township, there is a five-year, 0.9-mill renewal levy for providing fire protection.
In Jefferson Township, there are proposed zoning regulations on the ballot.
Stay with the Record-Herald on Election Night at our website, www.recordherald.com, for the latest news.
Reach Ryan Carter at 740-313-0352.