Early voting turnout low

Staff Writer

If you're like most Howard County residents and didn't cast your ballot early in this fall's election, it's too late now. You'll have to wait for election day.
Early voting closed at 5 p.m. Friday, and the voter turnout has been low so far, according to Howard County Elections Administrator Jodi Duck.
"The constitutional amendment election in 2015 brought a 10 percent voter turnout locally...11 percent statewide," she said. "Right now, I think we are just touching 4 percent."
Duck said the 10 percent figure from the previous election did include turnout on election day, which is yet to come for the current election.
Only 569 people cast ballots early this election, said Duck.
"That includes in person, ballot by mail, and provisional," she said.
Out of 16,641 registered Howard County voters, 331 voted early in person, while 237 mailed in ballots, and one person cast a provisional ballot.
The totals make Duck's 4 percent estimate slightly optimistic; the actual percentage of people who voted early is only about 3.4 percent.
Election day is this Tuesday, Nov. 7. For a sample of the ballot and precinct polling locations, see page 3A.