Voters making clear choice on ballot preference
The voters have spoken again — not on a political issue, but on their preference for early voting in Yuma County.
Yuma County elections official Sue Reynolds provided evidence to support this at a recent presentation on the success of the new “voting centers” to the Yuma City Council.
This year the use of polling sites limited to voters from specific areas have been replaced with a much smaller number of voting centers which allow voters to go to any center — no matter where it is located — to cast their ballots. Voter verification is no longer limited to one particular polling site but is shared across all voting centers.
It simplifies the balloting process for voters and election officials, and greatly reduces the cost of elections due to the lower number of election workers required. The voting centers are a home run for the election process.
The reality is the change had become essential because so few voters actually go to the polls on election day any longer to vote. Even at the reduced number of voting centers, the numbers of voters are relatively small.
This is not due to voter apathy — although that is an issue in all elections — but because so many local voters use early voting mail-in ballots.
Reynolds noted that this preference is rapidly growing. In the presidential preference voting in February, some 61 percent of ballots cast were mailed in. In the Aug. 28 primary election, that percentage rose to 83 percent.
The next marker will come in the November general election, which should get a bigger turnout than many elections due it being a presidential voting cycle. We will have to see what the number of mail-in ballots is, but our expectation is that the changing nature of voting will again be evident.
Local voters may disagree on candidates and issues, but most agree on early voting.