Natrona County Racks Up Record Absentee Voting
About 10,000 of the 30,000 registered voters in Natrona County have set a record by casting absentee ballots, County Clerk Renea Vitto said.
"Never have we seen it like this," Vitto said.
And the glitches from the Aug. 16 primary, when results took hours to be posted on the county's website, have been fixed, Vitto said.
"We're rocking and rolling right off the bat," she said.
The County Clerk's office, Vitto said, always has encouraged absentee voting for the practical reasons that people don't want to stand in line, or take time off work. And it lessens the work load of poll workers on election day.
But what she's seeing is unprecedented, she said. "It's something. Voter apathy, you can't say that this time."
Absentee voting parallels party affiliations, with about 69 percent Republicans, 20-plus percent Democrats requesting ballots, and the rest are minor party members or unaffiliated. (General election ballots are not requested by party affiliation, but the voters who request them are registered by party.)
Vitto said the problems her office encountered, as well as the frustrations of those eager to watch the election returns, on the Aug. 16 primary have been resolved. The unofficial returns will be counted and posted as they are received, and not run through the counting machine until all precincts had turned in their results.
However, that doesn't mean the public can see the absentee results early, she said.
Election workers will run the absentee ballots through the counting machine, but the results will not be tallied and posted until after 7 p.m.
Absentee voting at the elections office at the Natrona County Clerk's office in the old courthouse at 200 N. Center St., ends at 5 p.m. today.
Polls open at 7 a.m. and close 7 p.m. Tuesday. Those who received absentee ballots in the mail may bring them to the elections office by 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Remember that many of the polling places within Casper city limits have been consolidated at two places: Most voters in Wards 1 and 2 vote at the Industrial Building at the Fairgrounds at 1700 Fairgrounds Road, and most voters in Ward 3 vote at Restoration Church, 411 S. Walsh Drive.
There have been no changes in polling places for those who live outside Casper City limits.
For more information, visit the county's elections website.