Elkhart County absentee voting sees new highs with two weeks until the election

NOW: Elkhart County absentee voting sees new highs with two weeks until the election

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GOSHEN, Ind.--- Absentee and early voting for Indiana began October 6th. With two weeks until the general election, Elkhart County voters are trying to beat the likely massive crowds on November 3rd by filling out absentee ballots. 

The 2016 general election saw more than 68,000 votes come out of Elkhart County, but that number in this election is likely to be surpassed as residents are using this opportunity to let their voices be heard, even if it's their first time. 

"This is his (father) first time ever voting in any presidential election. Even here, or in Mexico, it is very important for us to vote," said absentee voter Paulina Alvarado. 

The two absentee ballot locations in Goshen and Elkhart have seen massive traffic in the two weeks it has been open. At the end of the day Friday, the county had approximately 8,500 early votes cast. After doing the math, Elkhart County Clerk of Court Christopher Anderson mentioned that rounds out to one voter per minute.

"It works out to about 56 ballots an hour per location, so that's one voter per minute that we're checking in at the absentee locations," said Anderson Monday. 

Along with the two voting centers, located at the Elkhart County Health Department and Presbyterian Church in downtown Goshen, the final two opened Monday. The Brethren Church in both Nappanee and Middlebury are offering absentee voting and will be opened until November 2nd. 

Not waiting until election day, residents like teacher Ashton Cluts, are using this opportunity to avoid the large crowds during this pandemic. 

"I wanted to vote early this year so I could avoid crowds, and reduce my exposure to the coronavirus," said Cluts. 

Others are taking a different approach by speaking up for those who do not have a voice. 

"I'm happy that my dad actually wanted to vote and you know. Be the voice of the people who don't have voices so we're really happy to be voting this year," said Alvarado.

Combing both early and absentee votes, approximately 21,700 ballots have been cast with 15,600 being received. You can certainly expect those numbers to increase as we inch closer to the November 3rd election day. 

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