Election draws to a close in Stutsman CountyElection turnout in Stutsman County continues going strong with less than an hour left at the polls, according to Casey Bradley, Stutsman County auditor/chief operating officer.
By: Ben Rodgers, The Jamestown Sun
Election turnout in Stutsman County continues going strong with less than an hour left at the polls, according to Casey Bradley, Stutsman County auditor/chief operating officer.
As of 6:05 p.m. about 4,500 ballots have been cast at the Civic Center. Turnout was so strong this morning that 15 additional voting stations had to be added.
“It’s just been a constant stream all day,” Bradley said. “It’s been a fantastic turnout.”
From 7 to 7:15 a.m. 145 people cast ballots. He said another influx of voters hit when work let out.
“We had about 20 minutes there where there were no (polling) places for people,” Bradley said of 5:15 p.m. “We were directing traffic.”
Bradley reported two voters at the Civic Center wore campaign-based paraphernalia and removed it before they received their ballots. The three rural polling sites in Stutsman County, Medina, Pingree and Kensal reported no problems, he said.
“The turnout was very good,” said Kate Spanjer, an election judge in Stutsman County since the early 1960s. “We were so pleased with the college students who came and voted, some for the first time.”
As of 6 p.m. Bradley reported 449 first-time ballots, roughly one out of every ten cast.
One of those first-time voters was Steve Nelms, a fourth-year senior at Jamestown College.
“Eventually we’ll be out there in the working world and the stuff we vote on will be a factor,” Nelms said.
Other voters interviewed said the presidential election was a factor while another deemed Measure 5 the most pressing issue on the ballot.
All interviewed said the process went smoothly.
“I thought it was awesome that we were pretty much able to walk right in and vote and things went smoothly,” said Roxanne Johnson.
Bradley anticipates 5,000 ballots to be cast at the Civic Center when the polls close. So far about 1,800 absentee and 2,650 early ballots have been cast.
During the last presidential election in 2008, Stutsman County saw just less than 10,000 ballots. He anticipates this election to come close to those figures.
New to Stutsman County this year are election observers. The North Dakota GOP has seven individuals behind the scenes working to get more voters to the polls.
“We’re taking the names of all the people that voted and we’re putting them into an app,” said Truman Haut, an election observer. “Then the people in Fargo mark the ones that voted on a list and the people not on the list, they get called and they go vote.”
Check for updated figures at www.jamestownsun.com as voting continues.
Sun reporter Ben Rodgers can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org