Polls close as Indiana sees surge in voter turnout

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("Voting" by Justgrimes, CC BY-SA 2.0)

ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. (WOWO): There were long lines at polling locations all across northeast Indiana Tuesday. Many in the WOWO listening area reported lines with wait times between 30 minutes to an hour and Allen County Elections Director Beth Dlug tells WOWO that she is predicting early voting turnout to rival that of the 2016 Presidential Election. “We are probably looking at over 100,000 voters in the end maybe about a 45 percent to 50 percent voter turnout.”

Some Fort Wayne voting locations had issues, including an early hiccup at Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control that delayed dozens of people who showed up right when the polls opened.

Many area counties (Jay, Allen, DeKalb) also have had early reports that voter turnouts are rivalling that of 2016 and there has been a higher-than-usual number of absentee ballots.

 


One Indiana County had too many voters and not enough ballots to go around. Voter turnout in Monroe County was so strong that some precincts ran out of ballots by 2 p.m., Tuesday. County Clerk Nicole Browne called it a “great problem to have” and said in a 3 p.m. email that more ballots were on the way. Voting in Monroe County was extended to 7 p.m., and by 4 p.m., more than 45% of the county’s registered voters had cast a ballot.

Meantime, the record voter turnout is being blamed for some technical issues at a few polling locations in Johnson County. Indiana GOP Chairman Kyle Hupfer said the high number of voters taxed the system to a degree that it was really slowing down voting. It got even slower when the county’s voter registration server shut down altogether, forcing provisional ballots to be passed out.

Several polling places in Porter County got a late start for a variety of reasons Tuesday morning. The reasons range from poll workers not getting the right supplies to technical issues to even some workers quitting at the last minute. Because of the issues, the county’s election board scrambled to ask a Judge if they could keep the affected polling places open longer than normal. The judge has granted that request and has ordered some voting locations to stay open until 8:30 p.m., Tuesday.

 

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