Voter turnout is up thanks to early voting, same day registration

Credit: Eric Turner/ KTVB

Voter turnout is up thanks to early voting, same day registration

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by Andrea Lutz

Bio | Email | Follow: @KTVBandrealutz

KTVB.COM

Posted on October 30, 2012 at 9:36 PM

Updated Thursday, Dec 5 at 12:20 AM

BOISE -- The November 6th general election is less than a week away, and early voter turnout in Ada County has reached an all-time high. Officials say about 1,400 voters per day have shown up at the polls since early voting opened.

Phil McGrane is Ada County's Chief Deputy Elections Clerk. McGrane says in 2008, the big trend at the county's elections office was absentee voting.

Not so for 2012.

This year, McGrane says more people are actually going to the polls before work, during their lunch break, and after work just to make their vote count.

UNEXPECTED TREND INCREASES VOTER PARTICIPATION

Ada County is also expected to experience higher same-day voter registration.

In 2008, McGrane reports 32,000 people registered to vote on Election Day. This year he expects that number to increase to nearly 40,000 same days registration voters.

McGrane isn't sure how to explain these voting trends, saying that both could be due to a number of reasons.

For example, McGrane speculates that perhaps more people are interested in the presidential race, Idaho’s congressional races, or Propositions 1, 2 and 3 -- and says either way, the draw is there.

“I don’t know if it’s a convenience, or if there is just a shift," McGrane said. "You know one of the big things that we have seen nationally is this is the first election where the president has voted early as opposed to voting on Election Day, and maybe that is just a sign of the times that people are seeking alternatives to showing up to the polls on Tuesday."

However, McGrane said this rise in voters does not necessarily mean that the polls won't be busy on November 6th. Ada County elections officials still anticipate a huge turnout for Election Day itself.

Anyone who wants to cast an absentee ballot must register to do so by Wednesday, October, 31st. The deadline to turn in your absentee ballot is Friday, November 2.

All absentee ballots must reach your county's election office by Tuesday, November 6.

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