Caldwell County voters certainly got the message that the early voting period began Tuesday statewide, as there was a line out the door and around the block when county election officials began at 8:30 a.m.
County Clerk Toni Watson said there had been 71 voters taking part in the first hour of early voting on Tuesday.
Early voting — which lasts through Nov. 2 — is one of several options voters have this year to take part in the November general election.
Voters can take part in early voting from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Friday and from Monday through Oct. 21, and from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday. Other available times are:
- Oct. 22 and 29: 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Oct. 23, 26-28, 30 and Nov. 2: 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Oct. 24: Noon to 4 p.m.
- Oct. 31: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Early voting takes place on the basement level of the courthouse.
Watson said there have been about 1,100 absentee ballots requested, and her office has received about 500 of those. Absentee ballots or mail-in ballots can be mailed to the county clerk’s office at the courthouse or hand-delivered to dropboxes at the courthouse.
The deadline to request a mail-in or absentee ballot has passed.
For the more traditional voter, the courthouse and three precincts in the county will be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 3.
The precincts in Fredonia, Donaldson and Bucksnort will be open on Election Day, and people can vote at the courthouse in the basement or on the main floor.
“If anyone else goes there from another precinct, they can vote on the e-Slate (voting machine),” Watson told the fiscal court on Tuesday.
People are asked to come in through the north or south doors — those facing Main or Market streets — and exit through the east and west doors — those facing Harrison Street and Court Square.
Contests on this year’s ballot for all Caldwell County precincts include the elections for president and vice president, U.S. senator, U.S. representative, state representative, judge of court of appeals and two state constitutional amendments.
The Bucksnort, Wards Creek and airport precincts will choose a constable, while Briarfield, Bucksnort, Butler, Donaldson, Dulaney, White Sulphur, the airport and part of Bull Run will choose a school board representative.
Princeton will elect its city council members, and Fredonia will elect three of its city council members.
For more election information, call the county clerk’s office at 270-365-6754.