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Northeast Indiana Sees Impact Of High Early Voter Turnout

Tom Arthur from Orange, CA, United States, via Wikimedia Commons

This year, early voting has been up across the country. WBOI’s Zach Bernard and Lisa Ryan visited early voting locations in Northeast Indiana to see if they’re experiencing a similar trend.

Allen County Director of Elections Beth Dlug says turnout has been pretty similar to their 2012 numbers so far. However, she does expect the county will eventually break early voting records.

“This is an election year that has a lot of races, and it’s when we have contested races that people get excited about coming out to vote,” Dlug said.

Dlug says the wait time to vote early in Allen County averages two hours, no matter where residents vote.

"I would like to see people vote like this all the time."

North of Fort Wayne in Dekalb County, there is just one early voting location, with a wait time of about 30 minutes. That’s longer than Dekalb County residents are used to seeing. Officials anticipated an increase in early voting, so they added two voting machines for a total of four, says Dekalb County Clerk Marty Grimm.

“I think people are feeling the need to get involved this time and really put their thought out there,” Grimm said. “It’s a good thing to see anyway; I would like to see people vote like this all the time.”

In the 2012 presidential election, Dekalb County had 4,192 absentee votes, both in-person and by mail. This year, they’ve already exceeded that. As of Nov. 3, the county has seen 4,376 absentee votes.

Indiana’s early voting ends Monday, Nov. 7.

Zach joined 89.1 WBOI as a reporter and local host for All Things Considered, and hosted Morning Edition for the past few years. In 2022, he was promoted to Content Director.
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