Nearly half of Bernalillo County voters cast ballots early

Posted at: 11/03/2012 7:48 PM
Updated at: 11/04/2012 2:47 PM
By: Adam Camp, KOB Eyewitness News 4; Whitney Jones, KOB.com

More than 183,000 people in Bernalillo County have already voted in the 2012 election.

The Bernalillo County Clerk said even though New Mexico has not been labeled a "swing state" in the election, voters have been coming through strong.

"It's meeting and potentially surpassing expectations. As of just now, we've had over 10,000 early voters turnout today and over 140,000 have turned out so far," Maggie Toulouse Oliver said.

Nearly half of Bernalillo County has already voted and Toulouse Oliver said some early voting kinks fixed from previous elections is the reason why.

"Expanded hours, expanded days of early voting. It's become more convenient. Every location is on the same exact schedule," she said.

Toulouse Oliver said absentee ballots have been cut in half since the last presidential election, but said it was because people prefer the convenience of early voting in person.

The voting headquarters at The Albuquerque Sign Language Academy on 7th and Lomas had plenty of traffic on Saturday.

Some early voters commented on their early voting experience.

"It was really smooth. You walk right in and they tell you exactly where to go...there wasn't a line today. It was good," Brittany Dudley said.

Her husband had a similar experience.

"Beat the rush. No line. It was real quick. Took about two or three minutes to get the ballot and fill it out," Chase Dudley said.

The lines at the 17 early voting centers will intensify Saturday night before closing at 8.

After Saturday, people cannot vote until Tuesday morning at 7:00 a.m.

According to the clerk's office 149,904 total ballots had been cast during the early voting period, of which 74,889 were registered Democrats, 50,722 were registered Republicans and 23,616 identified as other.

The clerk's offices sent 41,301 absentee ballots, 32,715 have been returned. The clerk has received 183,619 votes total.