Record number of early ballots mailed Thursday
A record number of early ballots went into the mail Thursday for the upcoming general election, reported Yuma County Recorder Robyn Stallworth Pouquette.
It took two weeks and the help of temporary poll workers to stuff the 36,100 ballots by hand, she said.
But they are not done yet. Her office continues to process requests for early ballots as they come in and will be mailing them out daily starting Monday.
“We expect to send out 40,000 early ballots for the election. I hope we get a good percent back.”
And she's begging voters to get those ballots back to her office quickly. With that many early ballots, it will take a lot of time to process them, Stallworth Pouquette noted. If people delay returning their ballots, that will hold up the final election results.
The ballots can be mailed or dropped off at a collection box outside the recorder's office at 410 S. Maiden Lane.
In addition, people can cast their ballots early at the recorder's office, which now has two privacy voting booths as well as two touchscreens for voters to use. They can come in to vote from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.
Stallworth Pouquette said there are 75,101 registered voters in Yuma County. But the final number will go a little higher as her office is still entering voter registrations received before Tuesday's deadline to register for the Nov. 6 general election.
Typically, she said, there is higher voter turnout on presidential election years.
But her office also continues to see an ongoing increase in the number of voters who prefer to use early ballots.
Her office sent out approximately 29,000 early ballots for the 2012 primary election. About 10,000 were returned.
For the 2008 presidential election, there were a little over 16,000 early ballots sent out in Yuma County.
For the 2010 general election, 15,000 early ballots were sent out. Stallworth Pouquette estimated that 68.9 percent of the total ballots cast for that election in Yuma County were by early ballot.