A record number of voters turned out on the first day of early voting Monday in Baldwin County, election officials say.
Baldwin County Chief Deputy Registrar Randy Morrow said 843 voters cast ballots at the new Baldwin County Government Complex.
“We’ve never had that many to vote on the first day during early voting,” according to Baldwin County Elections Superintendent Todd A. Blackwell.
Blackwell, who also serves as judge of Baldwin County Probate Court, said nearly 500 voters had cast ballots in the upcoming Nov. 3 general election as of 12:30 p.m. Monday.
“We saw that many people vote in Baldwin County in just four hours,” Blackwell said, noting that he has never before seen that many people vote at one time.
Asked what he attributed the large turnout of early voters to on Monday, Blackwell didn’t hesitate to respond.
“It’s a combination of things,” Blackwell told The Union-Recorder. “It’s been a long campaign season. We’ve been seeing campaign messages from a lot of candidates for a long time.”
He said it’s built up excitement among voters.
And adding to it is the fact that voters will also decide who will serve as president for the next four years.
“People seem generally excited about the presidential election,” Blackwell said.
Blackwell indicated another reason for the large turnout of voters Monday may have been because many people have not gone out much in the public due to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.
Monday was also a federal holiday and many people had the day off.
“A lot of people were off work Monday, so I’m sure that brought out a lot more people to vote early, too,” Blackwell said.
Between now and through the rest of the early voting period, Blackwell predicts a steady turnout of voters, but nothing like what was experienced Monday.
He added that he expects early voting to pick back up to a brisk pace during the last week.
Early voting numbers are expected to increase again on Saturday, Oct. 24, when voters will have another opportunity to cast their ballots.
“We could see a bigger than normal number of voters come out on that Saturday,” Blackwell said.