TIPPECANOE CO., Ind. (WLFI) — Tippecanoe County Clerk Christa Coffey says this year, so far, absentee voter numbers are up compared to the last two presidential elections. Now, Coffey is encouraging other voters to do the same before they are faced with long lines on Nov. 8.
“Some people like tradition, and it is certainly a tradition to vote on Election Day,” early voter Mary Lee Parker said.
Despite the tradition, 30-35 percent of Tippecanoe County voters choose to cast their ballot before Election Day each year.
“I decided to do this early because I didn’t want to stand in line,” said another early voter Drinda Obermeyer.
Parker said, “It just eliminates the issue of weather, and crowds and everything.”
Coffey said even though the number of early voters is up, waiting until Nov. 8 may not be the best idea.
“No one should expect that they’ll be in and out very quickly on Election Day,” said Coffey.
Coffey said absentee voting not only allows you to avoid long lines, it can prevent you from missing out on voting if something keeps you from getting to the polls on Election Day. For those who choose to wait, Coffey said be prepared to be there a while.
“If people enjoy waiting in a line and spending time with their fellow citizens, then Election Day may be what they want to do,” she said. “But it will be a line, and it will take time.”
However, she wants to dispel the myth that absentee votes only count if needed.
“Everything gets counted,” explained Coffey. “Everything is confidential and sealed. We don’t know what’s contained in anything until we open it for processing. So if anyone still has those hesitations, that’s not accurate at all.”
All traditions aside, those who chose to vote early said they’re glad they can sit back and relax on Election Day.
“It’s easier to do it this way,” said Obermeyer.
“There’s a certain sense of patriotism when doing it on that day, but it is so much easier to do it ahead of time,” said Parker.
Voters can cast their ballot early until the day before Election Day, but only until noon at the Tippecanoe County Board of Elections Office on that last Monday.
For more information on early voting in Tippecanoe County, click here.