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Rise in absentee ballots

Polk already has more than 1,800 requests

COLUMBUS—Polk County sent out its first absentee ballot requests on Friday with more requests already than any other year.

Polk County Board of Elections Director Cliff Marr said this week that his office has already had more than 1,800 valid requests for absentee ballots. His office has already sent ballots to most of the county’s military and overseas residents who requested ballots and was scheduled to send the other requests on Sept. 4.

Marr said normally for a presidential election the county would have about 100 requests to send out on the first mailing. The county normally sends out a total of 500 absentee ballots for the entire election.

So far, there have been 815 registered democrats who have requested absentee ballots; 305 republicans and 739 unaffiliated voters, according to Marr.

People can still request absentee ballots.

Early voting will be from Oct. 15-31 and can be done at the Polk County Board of Elections Office, located on the 2nd floor of the Womack building in Columbus. Early voting can be done on weekdays from 8 a.m.-7:30 p.m. and on Saturday, Oct. 17 and Oct. 24 from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. The last day of early voting will be Saturday, Oct. 31 from 8 a.m.-3 p.m.

People can register to vote while early voting, but not on Election Day.

Election Day will be Tuesday, Nov. 3, when registered voters can vote at their polling places from 6:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.

For more information about this year’s election or to request an absentee ballot, visit polknc.org or call the election office at 828-894-8181.