“Mount Airy is a little more than 900 (voters) now,” Director Susan Jarrell said at 3:30 p.m., with more than four hours left to go Tuesday before the closure of a satellite voting station at the city library on Rockford Street. It opened Monday.
“It is a great turnout,” Angie Harrison, deputy director of the elections board, said of the totals so far for early voting sites in Mount Airy, Elkin and Dobson. As of 3:20 p.m. Tuesday, 2,862 people had cast ballots at all three locations, including the Board of Elections in Dobson where 1,737 had taken advantage of the program.
The early voting that began Monday in both Mount Airy and Elkin will run all this week, helping citizens get a head start on next Tuesday’s general election that features an array of local, state and federal races.
Comparing the fact that the Mount Airy site already had logged more than half the total processed so far in Dobson where early voting began 12 days before, Jarrell said, “That is tremendous, just in a day and a half, really.”
She added, “Most of the early voters do come from the Mount Airy area because of the higher population.”
Early voting will continue today and Thursday at the city library from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Hours for the satellite station in Elkin, at the rescue squad building on North Bridge Street, are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. today through Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday.
The early voting schedule at the elections office in Dobson, located on the bottom floor of the Surry County Judicial Center, is 8:15 a.m. to 5 p.m. today through Friday and Saturday from 8:15 to 1 p.m.
“People are getting more used to early voting,” Jarrell said of a program that has been in place only for the last few elections. For the general election in 2006, which was comparable to the one this year, 4,063 people voted early for the entire duration of the program. That number likely will be greatly eclipsed by this year’s totals.
“It’s been extremely good for a mid-term election,” the elections director said of the 2010 turnout so far.
Early voting, along with assisting those wanting to avoid possible long lines on Election Day or who’ll be out of the county then, allows people not registered to vote to do so and cast a ballot during the same stop.
As of Tuesday morning, about 30 people had utilized the early voting/one-stop program at all three locations, Jarrell said.
“We hope everyone will take advantage of it,” she added of early voting.
The 2,862 figure compiled as of Tuesday afternoon does not include more than 100 people who have been sent absentee ballots by mail.
Surry County presently has about 44,000 registered voters.
Contact Tom Joyce at email@example.com or at 719-1924.