Certain data points stand out in election results

Due to the large number of people who opted for in-person early voting at the Madison County Board of Elections office and capacity limitations related to COVID-19, voters had to park in the grass and along the gravel lane behind the BOE office when regular parking spaces filled up.

(Posted Nov. 25, 2020)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

The Madison County Board of Elections (BOE) certified the Nov. 3 general election results on Nov. 18. Among the numbers that stand out are the number of registered voters, the voter turnout percentage, and the number of ballots cast.

A total of 25,827 Madison County residents registered to vote in the Nov. 3 election, up from 24,627 for this year’s primary election.

“You’re always going to see more people register to vote in a presidential election, but, in my opinion, that increase is pretty substantial for a small county,” said Abby Metheney, BOE director.

Once all votes, including provisional ballots, were counted and certified, the voter turnout came to 77.38 percent. In the 2008 presidential election, turnout was 73.07 percent. In 2012, it was 74.04 percent. In 2016, it was 73.58 percent.

The total number of ballots cast in the Nov. 3 election was 19,984. Four years ago, the total number of ballots cast in the November election was 17,685.

Metheney said that just under 6,000 people visited the BOE office for in-person early voting. The staff estimated that another 2,000 people dropped their ballots in the new ballot box the office installed for the election. One of the busiest in-office voting days was Oct. 30 when more than 400 people came through the BOE office between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m.

“When early voting started, we were averaging 200 people a day. As the election got closer, more people were showing up,” Metheney said.

To abide by COVID-19 safety protocols, the BOE limited the number of visitors permitted inside the building to no more than five people at a time. The BOE’s parking spaces are limited, so on busy days, visitors were parking in the grass and the gravel lane behind the office. Traffic congestion was an issue because the property only has a one-lane driveway.

“We’re super grateful to the Sheriff’s Office, (county) commissioners and (county) engineer who helped us with the parking situation this election,” Metheney said.

At a meeting held earlier this month, Madison County Prosecutor Steve Pronai suggested that the county consider improving the ingress and egress situation at the BOE office.

“I think we have to do something,” said Commissioner Mark Forrest.

The condition of the parking lot also needs to be addressed.

“It did take quite a beating, and it wasn’t in the greatest shape to start with,” Metheney said.

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