Early, absentee voting now open - Republic-Times | News

Early, absentee voting now open

By on October 24, 2012 at 10:06 am

Maxine Buchholz (left) prepares to cast her early voting ballot on Wednesday while Brenda Evans (right) is there to assist. (Teryn Schaefer)

Registered voters may now cast ballots prior to election day (Nov. 6), as early voting began Monday throughout the state.

Those wishing to participate in early or absentee voting may do so in the county clerk’s office at the Monroe County Courthouse.

For more information, call the county clerk’s office at 939-8681, ext. 302.

Due to fewer restrictions for who can cast absentee ballots, Monroe County Clerk Dennis Knobloch said the lines between early and absentee voting are blurred.

“It’s confusing for the voters,” he said. “The category called early voting started (Monday), but we have been absentee voting since Sept. 27. And since several years ago, (when) the legislators decided that absentee voters no longer needed a valid excuse to absentee vote, absentee voting has actually become in-person, no excuse necessary, early voting.”

Between the voters who have voted at his office in person and those who are voting by mail, Knobloch said there have already been more than 800 votes cast locally for the upcoming election.

There are around 24,500 total registered voters in Monroe County.

Knobloch said voters can vote on machines in his office during normal business hours from now until the day before the election.
The county clerk’s office will also be open this and next Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon for voting.

“For those who are unable to come into our office, they still have the option of completing an application and receiving a ballot in the mail,” he said.

Pictured is the sign outside the Monroe County Clerk’s office, directing you to cast your early voting ballots inside. (Teryn Schaefer photo)

Knobloch also said this is the first election for many voters since the precincts were realigned last year.

“We ask that voters make sure they have the voter card that was sent to them in 2011, and if they have any questions about what precinct they are in or where they should be voting, they should call our office before Election Day for clarification,” he said.

In addition to the presidential race between Democrat Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney, voters can cast ballots for such key races as the one for 12th District U.S. Congress between Democrat Bill Enyart, Republican Jason Plummer and Green Party candidate Paula Bradshaw.

Other contested state races include the battle for 116th District State Representative between Democrat Jerry Costello II of Smithton and Republican Julie Bigham Eggers of Columbia, and the 58th District State Senate showdown between Democrat Michael Bigler and Republican Dave Luechtefeld.

Local races include the one for Monroe County Commissioner between incumbent Democrat Delbert Wittenauer and Republican challenger Franklin Kohler, as well as Monroe County Circuit Clerk between incumbent Democrat Sandy Sauget and Republican challenger Jeff Hejna.

Check out the voter information tool that allows you to see where your polling place for the Nov. 6 election will be and what candidates and offices will be on your ballot. To use the tool, click here.

A full election preview of these races and others will appear in the Oct. 31 print edition of the Republic-Times.

Corey Saathoff

Corey is the editor of the Republic-Times. He has worked at the newspaper since 2004, and currently resides in Columbia. He is also the principal singer-songwriter and plays guitar in St. Louis area country-rock band The Trophy Mules.