Absentee ballots in Madison County up by 100% compared to previous presidential elections

Judge Barger says absentee ballots are up 100% compared to the last presidential election in 2016, and could reach 200% by October 29.

Posted: Oct 7, 2020 9:08 PM

Madison County Probate Judge Frank Barger, is preparing for an election day like no other.

Judge Barger says absentee ballots are up 100% compared to the last presidential election in 2016, and could reach 200% by October 29.

"Yesterday we exceeded roughly 20,000 absentee applications. In past presidential elections, we see that number hover usually around 10,000, so COVID has surely increased the number," said Probate Judge, Frank Barger.

Madison County Probate Judge Frank Barger says he expects to see record absentee ballot numbers this election.

"It's not surprising for us to see nearly triple or 200% in the number of absentee ballot applications," said Barger.

Barger says usually absentee ballots are counted starting at noon on election day.

"We are going to start at 7 a.m., just the same as when polls open, so we will have additional time to count those ballots and we will have a lot more manpower than we would normally have," said Barger.

He says this year, Madison County will have 30 absentee ballot counters and three to four hundred backup volunteers

"If we have an emergency or feel there is a shortage," said Barger.

"Nobody can plan for unforeseen circumstances. I want to make sure my vote is counted this election," said voter, Tara Bailey.

Voter, Tara Bailey, says she understands why absentee ballots are so popular this year.

"I don't want to come election day and have my plan to be to go to one of the polling locations and then I, myself, maybe put in quarantine or come down with COVID," said Bailey.

After voting absentee, herself, she decided to start an organization called, "I vote Madison," to help others.

"Somebody who has an in-home printer, getting an absentee ballot application printed off in order to mail it in," said Bailey.

The group provides photo copies of ID's, envelopes and witness signatures. Barger says he encourages people to choose the absentee ballot method.

"By all means, do it soon, do not wait until the last minute," said Barger.

"I vote Madison" will be helping voters every Saturday in October from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Madison Public Library.

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