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Brown County expecting to see record election turnout

Published: Nov. 2, 2020 at 6:27 PM CST
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ABERDEEN, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Absentee voter numbers have been higher than they’ve ever been across the country due to the ongoing pandemic. And that’s something County Auditor Cathy McNickle says isn’t any different in Brown County.

“We are expecting an overall record turnout. We’ve already seen a record turnout for absentee, and we’re expecting to see a good turnout for election day as well.” McNickle says.

The office has already seen a record number of absentee voters in it’s unofficial count, and they’ve been preparing poll workers to expect a large turnout tomorrow.

“Typically we do a little over 6,000 absentees. But this year we’ve done over 11,000 so far. So we’ve definitely seen a big increase in both absentee through the mail, and people choosing to absentee in-person at the courthouse.”

With that expectation, health and social distancing guidelines have been a key focus at polling locations, separating individuals as much as possible and using disposable surfaces.

“We’re installing Plexiglas dividers at check-in. And then we’ll have table tops that are spread out further apart than they normally are.” McNickle says.

And McNickle says the office has been preparing to process those absentee ballots as quick as possible, extending hours for counters to hopefully complete as much as they can tomorrow night.

“With the large volume we’ve received, we’re going to start that process a little earlier. So we have a team of, an absentee board that’s coming in around 8:00 am on election day, and they’ll start the process of getting those prepared for counting.”

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