Early voting ends in a rush

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Early and absentee voting ended Friday with more than 30 percent of Routt County's registered voters casting their ballots before Election Day.

Routt County Clerk and Recorder said her office counted 2,486 early votes and 1,532 absentee votes. The early turnout was similar to that of the 2004 presidential election, Weinland said, adding that turnout was particularly strong for a non-presidential election.

Friday was particularly busy at the polls.

"It was absolutely bonkers," Weinland said. "We had 435 people, which is a lot more than any other day, but people always wait to the last minute."

Voters waited in lines that were 10 to 30 minutes long.

Weinland expects the strong early voting turnout to carry over to Election Day on Tuesday. Voters should expect to encounter lines, she said.

"But we are spoiled in Routt County. They wait for hours in other counties, and in some other countries, people wait for days," Weinland said.

Weinland recommends that voters head to the polls prepared, because there is a 10-minute limit to cast your ballot using the new electronic voting machines.

"I'm always excited about the democratic process, which is part of the thrill of being an American," Weinland said. "It's an honor to be part of the process. I can't imagine a more fulfilling job."

Weinland likes to think of Election Day as a large social event.

"We invite everyone countywide to participate in this day with us," she said. "I hope everyone that qualifies comes out to vote. Democracy doesn't work unless we participate."

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