Voter turnout exceeds projections

Published 8:38 pm Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Chilton County voters cast 17,789 ballots during Tuesday’s elections, not counting provisional ballots and absentees lacking identification, Probate Judge Bobby Martin announced yesterday.

That figure translates to 67-percent voter turnout, which exceeds projections by about 2 percent.

“I wish people would be that interested in every election,” Martin said.

About 70 absentee ballots were mailed in to the Chilton County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office without identification, Martin said. The clerk’s office is in the process of contacting these voters, who have until 5 p.m. Friday to present an acceptable form of voter ID.

Also, 55 provisional ballots were cast by voters whose names did not appear on the voter’s list for some reason. The Board of Registrars is researching affidavit envelopes to tell the Canvassing Board which of these ballots to count.

Provisional ballots will be counted Monday.

“I don’t know how many of them we’ll count,” Martin said.

The only mechanical problems Tuesday were a hung-up voting machine at North Chilton, which was quickly replaced, and another machine that had to have its ribbon replaced.

Other problems were minor, but were due mainly to confusion among long-inactive voters who were not familiar with the process.

Considering the minimal amount of problems despite the high turnout, Martin commended all poll workers for the long day they put in Tuesday.

“Our poll workers worked very hard,” he said. “Anytime you see a poll worker, thank them for working.”