Aug 19, 2014 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff WriterAbsentee totals higher this year, clerk notes
Fremont County Clerk Julie Freese said voter turnout for the 2014 primary election was low as of noon Tuesday, but she anticipated more people would arrive at area polling places after work.
Local voters have until 7 p.m. Tuesday to cast their ballots.
Polling places include the Fremont Center and Heritage Hall at the Fremont County Fairgrounds in Riverton, Arapahoe School, the Missouri Valley Fire Hall, the Wind River Recreation center in Pavillion, the Kinnear Fire Hall, the Crowheart school gymnasium, the Shoshoni Senior Citizen Center, Hudson Town Hall, the Wyoming Indian High School tech center in Ethete, the Bob Carey Memorial Fieldhouse in Lander, the Fort Washakie School administration area, the Headwaters Arts and Conference Center in Dubois, the Jeffrey City Fire Hall, the Lysite Fire Hall and the Atlantic City Fire Hall.
The elections staff and volunteers hadn't faced any major crises Tuesday morning according to Freese, who said she only had to replace one machine that malfunctioned.
"We have machines here at the office just for that reason," Freese said. "Other than that (there was) some minor stuff, but just typical for us. ... It seems to be going well in most areas."
Primary vs. general
Primary elections are less likely to draw large crowds of voters than generals, according to Freese. In 2012, almost 8,000 people cast ballots in the August primary compared to more than 17,000 in the November general.
This year, however, Freese said more absentee voters are participating than she anticipated.
"We had more than (during) the presidential primary returned to us --requested and returned," Freese said. "That was kind of interesting."
In addition, of the 1,200 people who voted absentee in this election, Freese said about 440 physically handed in their ballots locally through a new process at the elections office.
"(They) actually came here and voted on the machine," Freese said. "So that was cool (that) we had that many people the first time out."
As long as waiting lines for voter registration stay relatively short, Freese said she expects election results to start coming in by 7:20 p.m. Tuesday.
Registration is permitted at the polls on primary election day.
Freese said totals could be tallied by 9:30 p.m., "depending on how everything goes." Her staff already is working on absentee ballots, and Freese said those could be completed by 7 p.m.
--Q94;The Associated Press contributed to this report
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