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Rocky Start Leads to Big Finish for Lafayette County Election Day

Despite a few hiccups in the early morning of Election Day, Lafayette County Circuit Court Clerk Jeff Busby said the day saw a record number of voters.

The total number of voters who voted either in person or absentee was 23,301 people. There are 33,217 registered voters in Lafayette County, making the voter turnout about 71%.

Busby said he expects about another 200 mail-in ballots to come in over the next few days. Mail-in ballots must be received by Tuesday of next week and results must be certified by each county by Friday, Nov. 13.

During the 2016 presidential election, Lafayette County had about a 60% voter turnout with close to 19,700 votes cast.

Busby said he believes the number of registered voters who did not vote to be around 7,500.

“You probably have about 2,500 students and others who have moved who haven’t updated their addressees and are still on our rolls,” he said Friday.

Shortly after the polls opened on Tuesday, Busby said two scanners went down, one at a District 1 precinct and another at the College Hill precinct in District 3.

“They got those up pretty quickly,” he said.

Lines were long at just about every precinct Busby said.

“Some people were waiting for one to two hours to vote, and I appreciate we had so many voting,” he said. “I hate they had to wait so long, but when you have these types of numbers for turnout, I don’t know what we could have done differently.”

Absentee voting tripled for this election, mostly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2016, about 2,300 people voted absentee. This year, 6,500 absentee votes had to be counted on Tuesday by the Resolution Board.

“They finished at 4 a.m. [Wednesday],” Busby said. “It was a big day.”

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