“All reports we’ve heard, every part of Polk County seems to be having heavier turn-out than normal,” says Polk County Auditor Jamie Fitzgerald. “We still think we are going to get to 80-85 percent turnout here in Polk County.”
There are lines “in a lot” of Des Moines-area precincts, according to Fitzgerald.
“A lot of them are just getting off work, getting off work early to go vote, so the lines are moving very quickly,” Fitzgerald says.
Kristi Everett is the first deputy in the Pottawattamie County Auditor’s office and she expects a surge about five o’clock, when people vote on the way home from work.
“This morning we were seeing lines at most of the polling places in Council Bluffs,” Everett says. “Things have started to calm down a little bit. They’re just steady at the polling places right now.”
Everett talked with Radio Iowa at about 3 p.m. Yesterday, the Linn County Auditor’s Office in Cedar Rapids stayed open until 7:09 p.m., so more than 1100 people waiting in line could vote on the day before the election. In Dubuque County, Auditor Denise Dolan says she hasn’t heard any reports of long lines, but she says it is busy.
“From the call-ins that we got this morning, it looks like we will have a good turnout,” Dolan says.
There were fewer absentee ballot requests from Dubuque County voters this year.
“We were a little below four years ago, but only by maybe a thousand,” Doland says. “We did find that more people were voting in person this year than requesting that a ballot be mailed to them, which we thought was interesting, and we aren’t quite sure why that was.”
Overall, Dolan says there haven’t been any problems her office can’t handle.
“There are always issues. You never know what they are going to be from year-to-year, but you just deal with them and go on,” she says.
About a third of Dubuque County voters mailed in ballots before Election Day.
Johnson County Auditor Travis Weipert says voters in Iowa City, Coralville and other areas of his county were ready to go as soon as the polls opened.
“Early this morning we were extremely heavy in a lot of our precincts, extremely heavy,” Weipert says.
Weipert estimates his staff has delivered more ballots to 15 or 20 of the 57 precincts in Johnson County. Some of that is in areas where there are more voters, due to population growth. Johnson County was just shy of 41,000 ballots returned by Monday and 1,846 people voted at his officer Monday, which topped the previous one-day high of 1,341. Weipert says the early voted was running below the last presidential election until a bit of a recent surge.
“We were down with mail ballots and satellites…but our (at the) counter voting was over what we ever expected,” Weipert says. “S, we are still down a little bit, but we’re definitely pushing into the 2012 territory.”
Johnson County is home to the University of Iowa and he says they’ve seen some late interest from students.
“At Peterson Hall today as of 11 o’clock we had 53 Election Day registrations…so that’s probably all students,” Weipert says. “So 233 people voting there — 53 being election day registrations.”
Weipert says he and his staff saw several people decide Monday that they were going to vote.
“Yesterday we had a mad rush of them here. When we did our satellite at the Iowa Memorial Union, same deal, probably every other voter was an Election Day registration or new registration,” Weipert says.
Woodbury County’s Auditor says turn-out is “slightly above average” in Sioux City and the surrounding area.
(Additional reporting by Radio Iowa’s Dar Danielson)