Why so many early voters this year?


Since Friday, voters have been showing up at county election boards, waiting hours in early voting lines.

With such long lines we wondered, is this normal?

Why does it seem early voting is becoming so popular?

Erin Dorio, Logan County Election Board Secretary, said, “I think they want to avoid long lines at their precincts.”

In Logan County they saw about 85 voters per hour Friday and more than 100 an hour both Saturday and Monday.

The lines have been constant but the wait has been manageable.

Thousands showed up in Oklahoma County, many waiting up to an hour and a half.

One early voter said, “I came out early because I have to work tomorrow definitely past the hours of voting.”

Early voter Emmitt Grayson said, “I have to travel on the Election Day so I thought it would be beneficial to me to come out and get it done.”

The reality is early voting has not always been such a popular event.

Doug Sanderson, secretary of the Oklahoma County Election Board, said, “2008 was really the largest we’ve had. 2004 was not even comparable to that.”

Election board officials said the number of early voters continues to increase with each election.

Sanderson said, “People don’t want to procrastinate, they want to get it over with.”

The wait may also increase with each election but overall, it’s really a good sign.

“I think it’s exciting,” Grayson said. “I think it means people are engaged and are paying attention to what’s happening today.”

Early voting ends at 6 p.m. Monday.

Officials encourage those who have not voted to get out Tuesday.

Polls will be open Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.