Record turnout expected for election

Published 11:08 pm Monday, November 3, 2008

Election officials are expecting a record turnout at the polls today across the state, and Marengo County will not be an exception.

Alabama Secretary of State Beth Chapman is expecting an 80-percent turnout for today’s election, with decisions for President, U.S. senator and a seat on the Alabama Supreme Court featured on the 2008 ballot. The current record is 76 percent from the 1992 election.

“There are going to be lines,” Chapman said. Those lines will be at the check-in tables, where voters show an ID. However, no one will have to wait for a voting machine because all 67 counties in Alabama use paper ballots that are run through an optical scanner, allowing several people to vote at one time.

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In Marengo County, a record 15,303 people have registered to vote for this election. If the statewide figure of 80 percent holds true, then pollsters can expect to see more than 12,000 Marengo Countians going to the polls today from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Statewide, that figure swells to 3 million registered voters, a quarter-million more than this time last year. The fastest growth rate was among black voters, who increased their numbers to 17 percent, compared to the 8-percent increase for white voters.

Here is a listing of voting places across Marengo County, listed by county district:

District 1: Demopolis Civic Center, National Guard Armory in Demopolis.

District 2: Westside Elementary School in Demopolis, Demopolis High School, Springhill.

District 3: VFW, Faunsdale, Dayton, Cornerstone Church in Linden.

District 4: Thomaston, Taylorville, Flatwoods, Magnolia, Surginer, Dixon’s Mill, Octagon.

District 5: Jefferson, Old Courthouse, Sweet Water, Hoboken, Putnam, Nanafalia, Aimwell, Myrtlewood.

Chapman said that people waiting in line at 7 p.m. would be allowed to vote, but those arriving after 7 p.m. would not. She added that people wanting to avoid long lines should arrive in mid-morning and mid-afternoon. The lines tend to be longest when people are voting before work, at lunch and after work.