The polls opened at 7 a.m. in Wrangell, and there was a steady flow of voters through the morning. Sarah Merrit, Wrangell’s election chair, said this election seems busier than most with 210 votes being cast by 10:30 a.m.
By 3 p.m., 572 votes were cast. That’s about a third of the latest voter registration numbers from September.
Most voters said the polls seemed busier than usual and say they will be happy when it’s over.
“I am so happy for today and eight p.m. tonight will be so much better. Then we can listen to why what happened tomorrow,” said Don McConachie, one of several voters at the polls this morning.
He also noted surprise to see kids under 18 casting their votes in a mock election.
“That was so encouraging to see. It’s very busy there right now because I think they just brought down a bunch of middle school kids. I was so happy to see that walking in the door to see the youth vote continue on,” said McConachie. “The polls seem to be sprucing right along for the adult vote.”
The mock election is Wrangell high school student Draven Golding’s senior project. He said the votes will be counted Wednesday morning.
Borough Clerk Kim Lane is helping with both the youth and adult vote. She said it’s great to see a strong turnout.
“I’d say more than 50 percent busier for sure. It’s great. I’m really happy to see the voter turnout. Honestly, I hope it gets busier,” she said.
Most voters were unwilling to share who they voted for. Wrangell’s voter turnout was at 48 percent in the 2012 presidential election. Wrangell voted for Mitt Romney over President Barack Obama by a wide margin. Voter turnout for the 2014 general election was at 46 percent.
In-person absentee voting was up nearly four times compared to the 2014 general election. As of Nov. 4, Wrangell saw a total of 195 voters, about a 50 percent increase compared to the 2012 presidential election.
Early voting is up around the state as well. There were 51,803 early votes counted as of Nov. 4, slightly above 44,608 in 2014. But, this year’s numbers are over two times the amount of early votes in 2012.
The polls are held in the Nolan Center. They will remain open until 8 p.m.