SOUTHERN INDIANA — The number of voters casting ballots before Nov. 3 continues to climb to record numbers in Clark and Floyd counties, and officials expect that to remain steady over the next two-and-a-half weeks until election day.

As of 1 p.m. Friday, 5,395 people had voted early in person since voting began Oct. 6 in Clark County. Another 6,424 people had sent absentee ballots by mail. Some 2,700 absentee ballots were outstanding Friday, and there still are several days left to request one.

The Clark County Voter Registration Office said the more than 11,000 votes already accounted for is a record — they’ve never hit 10,000 before election day.

“I think the enthusiasm for this election is outstanding and we’re seeing that in the number of people mailing in their votes, the number of people coming into vote,” said Chris Fitzgerald with Clark County Voter Registration.

As they did in the June primary, staff set up a sizable tent in the courtyard near the clerk’s office, so voters can maintain safe distances while casting their ballots.

On Friday afternoon, a stream of voters were moving through the tent, as staff made sure they had clean pens and that vote stations were sanitized.

“It’s been going great,” Fitzgerald said. “I think people are excited that there’s social distancing outside.” He added that they expect to see a steady increase in early voters leading up to the general election Nov. 3.

Floyd County Clerk Danita Burks reported an average of about 1,000 votes a day at the two sites for early voting in Floyd County — the 4-H fairgrounds on Green Valley Road and Valley View Golf Course in Floyds Knobs. That comes to a total of 8,755 as of the end of day Thursday. Another 6,944 absentee ballots have been mailed out to voters who have requested them.

“That’s a good response in Floyd County because we have approximately 61,000 registered voters,” Burks said. Voter registration offices in both counties have reported an uptick in people putting extra focus on making sure everything is secure with their votes.

This is what Teresa and Joseph Anderson were doing Friday as they dropped off their absentee ballots in person. The couple, who typically don’t vote absentee, wanted to make sure that there wouldn’t be any issue with their signatures on the ballots they dropped off. They were concerned that since it had been years since they signed to register to vote, their signatures could have changed.

“I wanted to make sure my vote is registered for sure,” Teresa Anderson said. “I’m 65 years old [and] I’ve voted in every election so it could have been a long time since I signed. I just wanted to make sure my signature is right and that it’s not going to be tossed because of my signature.”

Burks said the high early numbers and the voters being extra vigilant shows how important this election is to Clark and Floyd County residents, all Hoosiers and Americans.

“What I personally think is we have a lot of concerned citizens and that’s why they’re all coming out to vote,” Burks said. Presidentials are high anyway but I do believe people want a voice so they’re coming out by live site or requested absentees.”

She added that she still expects a significant number of voters on election day.

“I do believe the polls will be busy on election day; I don’t know how busy,” she said. “A lot of people still like to vote on that day.”

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