Vote 2012: Early and Absentee Voting Breaks Records - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Vote 2012: Early and Absentee Voting Breaks Records Across the Panhandle

Posted: Updated:

On the final day before a very big and very contentious Presidential election, Elections Supervisors around the Panhandle praised the high early voting turnouts, as they geared up for a busy election day.

Many counties have broken records last set in 2008.

Supervisors are hoping this record breaking early and absentee voting across the panhandle mean there's going to be a lot less strain at the Ballot Box on Election Day.

"I normally vote early. It's a real convenience and I like to get it over with and make sure my vote counts," said one early voter.

"I love this early voting, because otherwise I wouldn't be able to vote," added another.

Across the Panhandle it was clear that many voters felt the same way

"Voters were fantastic in this process. I think that they were well prepared, and that's what helped us get through that many voters," said Bay County Supervisor of Elections, Mark Andersen.

Andersen said two clear factors explain the high turnout.

"One is convenience and the other is emotion," said Andersen.

Convenience, because many don't want to wait in line while voters work through an extensive two sheet, double-sided ballot, complete with 11 amendments.

Emotion because of the nature of this election.

"You have other elections that have lower turnout, these are typically the highest. It's very frustrating because they really should be the same all the way across the board. But, having a presidential election, people are very interested across the board in the results and the process," said Andersen.

The numbers don't lie. Based on total registered voters, Bay County has nearly 50% of votes already cast through early and absentee. Walton County has around 40% and Jackson County has over 30% voted.

 Andersen said this is good news for Election Day voters.

"When they go to the polls on Election Day the lines may not be quite as long," said Andersen.