by Amie Sites
LOGANSPORT — Cass County Clerk Beth Liming says absentee voting has been heavy this year.
“I’ve seen a lot of first-time voters,” Liming said. “We’ve had first-time voters who are older and either haven’t voted in the past or are back to voting for the first time in years. I’ve also had young voters call and request ballots to be mailed to them in college.”
Elizabeth McQuinn, who has been a poll worker for six years, predicted the largest turnout the county has seen.
“I’ve never seen numbers like this early,” she said. “People are interested in participating and I expect it to be just as heavy the day of.”
Liming said she was talking to clerks from Carroll, Fulton and Wayne counties and found out Cass County seems to have higher numbers.
During the last presidential election four years ago, 16,017 of 22,331 registered voters cast ballots, Liming said. As of Thursday, 2,716 out of 22,233 registered voters had voted, Liming said.
“It’s fantastic to see this high of a turnout so far,” Liming said. “It shows voters care and want to get out there.”
Poll worker Sandy Spencer said she has not heard any negative comments about the option to vote early.
“Snow birds can vote before they leave town and college students home on fall break are able to vote,” Spencer said. “I’ve seen the highest number of first-time voters, even in their 50s.”
Joyce Skiles said she and her husband had voted absentee for the past three years because they frequently travel.
“It’s convenient to vote early because we never know when we’ll be around,” she said. “If we had to wait until the day of the election we wouldn’t be around.”
Liming said that she expected about half of the county’s voters to cast early ballots.
“We’ve proven in the last few elections with vote centers voters are still undecided and some only want to vote on Election Day,” Liming said.
Skiles said voting, to her, is very important.
“If you don’t vote, you don’t have a right to expect things to change,” Skiles said.
Amie Sites is a reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5150 or firstname.lastname@example.org.