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Election officials see increase in number of absentee ballots in Elkhart County

Election officials see increase in number of absentee ballots in Elkhart County. // WSBT 22 photo

This year's midterm elections are attracting a large number of voters.

In Elkhart County, long lines could be seen at many of the 27 vote centers.

There was also a higher number of absentee voters, triple the amount compared to the last midterm election in 2014.

Tuesday morning it was evident that the issues, various candidates and voter concerns brought out long lines at the polls. Whether at vote centers like the North Side Gym or the Jimtown High School gymnasium.

It also brought out more Elkhart County residents who opted to vote before Election Day by casting absentee ballots.

There were many more this year than compared with 2014.

“In 2014, the grand total absentees in the general election was 4,277. By comparison the grand total in 2018 is 14,127 absentee ballots,” said Chris Anderson, county clerk.

A lot of variables were involved in this election.

“Well I think over the past two years and half years, the county has become very polarized, whether you agree with the way the county is moving or disagree,” said Anderson.

Election officials say they saw an increase in the number of absentee ballots cast on a number of different levels, including those around the country who cast their votes in this midterm election, as well as globally who including those who are now who are serving the military overseas. Absentee votes cast from Antarctica, Ghana, Tanzania, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Bolivia, Japan, and Taiwan.

“I am not surprised at the number of absentee votes that we had this year, frankly, with all of the national interest in the elections. And it boils down locally to people,” said Wayne Kramer, elector board (R).

“I have been encouraging people throughout the city and throughout the county to go vote early in order to avoid the lines. So I am more impressed,” said Arvis Dawson.

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