Early Voting Numbers Staggering

The number of people casting an early ballot this year in Wichita County is record setting.

"It has been very busy," said Wichita County Clerk Lori Bohannon, "All the locations have been just extremely busy."

According to the Wichita County Clerk's office, after just four days of early voting, 10,058 people have voted.

That's almost a quarter of the 46,416 people who voted in the last presidential election.

When asked why the high early turnout, Bohannon said, "I don't know. I don't know if it's just the economy, the way things have gone. If it's people wanting change, not wanting change. It's just hard to say."

Bohannon said thankfully her office is using the latest technology to keep track of the votes.

Using the electronic voting machines means her office no longer has to spend hours keeping track of paper ballots.

"When we had the punch cards, we would always have what we call 'card cleaners', and they would check the cards to make sure there weren't any hanging chads or anything like that," explained Bohannon, "and with this, there's nothing to check. They bring them in, they bring in the P.E.B.'s, and we're done."

A P.E.B., or Personal Electronic Ballot, is what stores the information after a vote is cast.

For those worried about voter fraud being an issue with electronic ballots, Bohannon said there's nothing to worry about.

"There really is a paper trail," she said, "Once they come back to the office, we put it in our computer's, which are not hooked up to the internet, and so we have it that way."

While having new technological tools to tally up the record number of early votes is great, Bohannon said what really makes her happy is just seeing so many Texomans taking the time to exercise their freedoms.

Reporter's Notes by Ryan Robertson:

Early voting in Wichita County continues through November 2nd, and the general election will be on Tuesday, November 6th.

If you have any questions about where to vote, call the Wichita County Clerk's office at 940-766-8195, or click here.

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