The Christian County Clerk’s Office announced Thursday that it would be changing its second early voting location after the first two days of early voting turnout.
Christian County Election Coordinator Melinda Humphries shared that because of the success in voter turnout at the Christian County Sheriff’s Office, the Clerk’s Office decided to move the second early voting location from the Christian County Courthouse to the Senior Citizens Center located at 1402 W. Seventh St.
Early voting officially began Tuesday morning at the Sheriff’s office.
“In the past two days we’ve seen a very good turnout for early voting,” Humphries said. “So, with that in mind, we are anticipating that the second location — which will open up on Monday the 19th — should be a little larger for the voters, for parking purposes and getting in and out quicker.”
She continued to say that the senior center is currently not being used after the building received damage earlier this year along with the concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
Along with the turnout of the first few days of early voting at the sheriff’s office, Humphries shared that there were several other major reasons behind the decision to move the second location.
One of the factors was to increase the amount of parking available for voters.
“After the first two days, seeing the numbers they had over there, we really needed to be in a place, I feel like, that had better parking,” Humphries said. “This is a highly anticipated election — presidential’s always are — because of that, we feel like we might want to have something with a little more variety when it comes to parking especially.”
Another reason was to have a larger location than the courthouse to ensure that voters would have enough space to get in, sign up, vote and leave in a short period of time and have social distancing between voters.
She explained that in the early voting locations there are two or three tables with election workers ready to sign you in. That helps ensure that lines will be shorter as everyone is not waiting to sign in to vote at the same table.
There are also multiple areas to vote and multiple machines to put your ballot in, instead of the usual single machine that was available in past elections.
“So, you’re not waiting and held up because someone in front of you is doing this or that, where you’ve got several ways to check in, get in, get out,” Humphries said. “It’s been moving very well, so we’re pleased.”
Humphries added that on the first early voting day the longest amount of time a voter took to vote was roughly 30 minutes, compared to past election day voting that could take much longer for a single person to vote.
“(Wednesday) morning, I went in and checked in with them, a voter was in and out in less than 10 minutes,” Humphries said. “It just depends, I think, on the time that you go during the day and that first day was an anticipated day. People wanted to go ahead and get it over with.”
The final factor was the courthouse is still being used for driver’s to conduct business with their vehicle registration and other clerk duties usually done at the courthouse.
“Here at the courthouse right now, we’ve got people waiting in line to renew their tags on their vehicle,” Humphries said. “Vehicle transfers have their own lines and it would just run smoother if we had a location that was just a little bit bigger.”
Humphries also shared that for the first two days early voting was available, Christian County saw between 1,100 and 1,200 people vote at the Sheriff’s office.
She said the first day had a little over 600 voters while the second day had almost as many voters.
Humphries is also encouraging more people to get out and vote early while it’s available.
“You’ve got three weeks of early voting and three Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. as well, but if you know that if you’re going to be tied up that Tuesday (on Election Day) or, heck, if you just want to get it over with, you can,” she said. “There’s nothing holding you back. All you need to do is make sure you have your ID with you, go in, they’ll sign you in, you’ll get your ballot, you’ll vote and you’re done.”