Voter turnout may be higher than first expected

Posted at: 10/02/2013 7:08 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Predictions of a lower-than-usual turnout in Albuquerque’s upcoming city election may be off target. Early vote numbers indicate something different.

15,603 voters had already cast early vote ballots as of Wednesday morning.  In the last mayor’s election four years ago, voters cast 10,896 early ballots. The increase is getting up there toward 50 percent, with two days left to go in this year’s early vote.

The last two days generally are the busiest at early vote sites. There are 12 of them around the city for this year’s election, and election officials report they are getting busier every day, the closer we get to Election Day next Tuesday.

There are about 364,000 registered voters in the city, and the ones who vote early will tell you it’s the best way to take care of this democracy business.

“It just makes it so much easier,” Mary Padilla said, minutes after voting at the city clerk’s annex at 6th and Menaul NW. “The process is so fast. You’re in and out and that’s it, so I think early voting is the way to go.”

“I avoid the long lines,” said early voter Katherine Carrillo. “I just think it’s great having this early voting setup where we can come on our own time – and I like voting!”

“I’m going to be gone next week,” said early voter Frank Padilla. “I had to come now or I probably couldn’t vote.”

Remember, you must be a resident of the city of Albuquerque and a registered voter to cast a ballot and you will need to show a photo ID. Early voting continues Thursday and Friday. If you don’t make it in time, you can always go ahead and vote on old-fashioned Election Day next Tuesday.