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Election update: Sunny weather, absentee ballots could push voter turnout past 2016 numbers

Local election officials say they expect this year’s voter turnout to meet or exceed the turnout from four years ago when more than 50 percent of registered voters cast ballots in the Democratic Primary of the 2016 municipal election.

Adams County commissioner Larry Gardner said voter turnout has been steady and relatively problem-free Tuesday in the precincts of the city’s six wards.

“I think we have a pretty good turnout,” Gardner said. “You can’t beat the weather.”

More than 4,500 people voted in the Democratic Primary in 2016, more than half of the city’s 9,000 registered voters, Gardner said.

  • At 3 p.m., 328 people cast ballots in the City Council Chambers in Ward 1. In 2016, 807 total votes, including absentee votes, were cast in the same precinct.
  • At 3:30 p.m., 440 people cast ballots at Christian Hope Baptist Church in Ward 4. Four years ago, 860 total votes, including absentee votes, were cast in the same precinct.
  • At 4 p.m., 364 people cast ballots at the Duncan Park Canteen in Ward 6. Four years ago, 767 total votes, including absentee votes, were cast in the same precinct.

This year more than 700 absentee ballots cast in primary, Gardner. That number is 300 more absentee ballots than in 2016. Taking into account the 2-month extension of the primary because of the COVID-19 crisis, Gardner said the number of absentee ballots could push voting number past 2016.

“I am thinking we should match those numbers, maybe do a little better with those absentees,” Gardner said.