Big Rapids polling sites have seen a higher turnout this morning than other elections so far, according to precinct chairpersons.
At Precinct 1, located at Big Rapids Department of Public Safety, the line was a line out the door before the polls officially opened, according to chairperson Peggy Brennan.
“This is the busiest election I’ve ever worked, but it’s going really well,” Brennan said. “People are being patient, they’re not minding having to wait. We’ve had a few glitches but we managed to straighten them out and everyone who had a right to vote is voting.”
Brennan has oveseen elections as a chairperson for six years and has seen a lot of students at the polls today.
“A lot of young people, and that’s always good to see,” Brennan said.
According to Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, over 3 million absentee ballots have been cast statewide and the SOS office expects 2 million to vote today, which could set a Michigan voter turout record.
Pre-medicine sophomore Natalie Clark voted for the first time this morning.
“It’s important because this is our life in our hands now,” Clark said. “We’re able to vote now so we have a say as adults now and we need to change our world.”
Beth Krueger, the chairperson of precinct 2, has overseen about a dozen elections in the past 12 years, this being her fourth presidential election.
“Based on what I’ve seen so far this morning, we will see probably a steady stream today. This is pretty busy for us,” Krueger said. “I think there’s more people voting, between the absentee and the people coming in, there just seems to be more people.
“There’s been a lot of excitement around this election and there’s been a lot of publicity to get out and vote and as a result of that, we’re seeing that now people are in fact performing their civic duty, which what they should be doing and we’re thrilled. So we hope to be busy all day.”
By 10:30 a.m., precinct 1 had processed 180 ballots and precinct 2 had processed 159. According to the Big Rapids city clerk’s office, 1,466 absentee ballots have beenn issued. In Mecosta County, 82.4% of absentee ballots have been returned and accepted.
Unique to the election process in Michigan this year the ability for voters to register in person on election day until 8 p.m. According to poll workers, the line outside the clerk’s office was steady all morning with voters registering or changing ther address. All that is needed is your photo ID and proof of residence in Big Rapids.
Polls are open until 8 p.m. Ballot drop boxes are available at the three polling locations in Big Rapids.