Local counties see strong numbers for early voting ahead of election

(ABC 6 News) – This year’s midterm election is shaping up to be one of the highest turnouts in the nation’s history.

More than 14 million people have voted early in the 2022 election, according to ABC News.

Election officials say we’re looking at numbers close to the 2018 midterm election and local election officials say we’re seeing the same trend.

Local election officials in Olmsted and Mower counties say it’s still too early to tell but they say next week is when a majority of the absentee ballots will be rolling in.

Election Manager of Olmsted County Luke Turner said that based on numbers the county saw for the August primary election, we could see more people voting in this midterm election than in 2018’s midterm.

“The primary in August had a higher than usual turnout for a midterm primary. It was noticeably higher than other elections,” Turner said.

As of Thursday, Mower County had mailed out about 4,400 absentee ballots, which is about 20 percent of registered voters in Mower County.

Amanda Kiefer, Chief Deputy Auditor-Treasurer of Mower County, said that is a good number for the midterm election. With one week left until the election, she said the county is on pace to surpass what they saw in 2018.

“I think that 2020 gave us a whole new perspective. Like if we have something hindering us, to be able to get to the polls. I mean, we all know that we dealt with a pandemic here so. I think other people like to explore the avenue of absentee voting and kind of see what it’s about sometimes especially since it’s become a non-excuse option,” Kiefer said.

Both Mower and Olmsted counties are expecting a huge spike in early voters next week, especially on Saturday, Nov. 5 when some polling locations will be open for early voting ahead of Tuesday, Nov. 8.

Mower County had its public accuracy testing on its machines Thursday and Olmsted County is having its accuracy testing on Friday at 2 p.m. These are open to the public and ensure Minnesota’s elections are fair, secure and accurate.