Election Day turnout finishes ‘one for the books’ in Butler County voting

Voters cast their ballot on election day at Madison schools auxiliary gymnasium Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020 in Madison Township. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
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Voters cast their ballot on election day at Madison schools auxiliary gymnasium Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020 in Madison Township. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Election Day 2020 will be remembered for a polarized presidential race, coronavirus precautions and record-setting voter turnout in Butler County.

Butler County elections officials reported steady voting Tuesday after a huge early voting period without many reported issues throughout the day.

“We had a lot of people voting early and we will have an influx of people at the end of the day,” Diane Noonan, Butler County Board of Elections director, said earlier in the day. “This is going to be one for the books.”

ExplorePHOTOS: Scenes from Election Day throughout Butler County

As voters stood in shorter lines to cast their ballots on Tuesday, Butler County elections board staff were processing trays of mailed absentee ballots that were postmarked Monday and received Tuesday, said Eric Corbin, deputy Butler County elections director.

As of 5 p.m., 63,889 ballots had been cast Tuesday throughout Butler County. Those came after 115,719 ballots were cast by absentee and early voting. At that time, the overall voter turnout was 69.9% of the county’s 256,932 registered voters. Noonan predicted a voter turnout of up to 85% overall.

ExploreElections official: Butler County will break voter turnout record this year

Four years ago, more than 176,300 registered county voters cast a vote in the presidential election for a 71.05% turnout. Eight years ago, 171,170 registered county voters cast a ballot 71.3% turnout.

Bob Arnold places his absentee ballot in the drop box at Butler County Board of Elections on election day Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020 in Hamilton. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
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Bob Arnold places his absentee ballot in the drop box at Butler County Board of Elections on election day Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020 in Hamilton. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Corbin said some of the voters didn’t realize that on Election Day they were supposed to go to regular polling places instead of the elections board offices.

“They were nice about it when it was explained to them that early voting is done at the elections board office,” Corbin said.

First time voter casts ballot

Alexys Napier cast her first ballot Tuesday at Wilson Middle School in Hamilton and was celebrated by poll workers.

“I came out to vote today because I wanted to make a change and be able to cast my opinion out there to see if I could change the world and move to make something different,” she said.

Alexys Napier, 18, votes for the first time on election day Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020 at Wilson Middle School in Hamilton. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
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Alexys Napier, 18, votes for the first time on election day Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020 at Wilson Middle School in Hamilton. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Napier, 18, opted to vote on Election Day because she thought she would be waiting a long time in lines during early voting.

“It makes me feel empowered and feel like I have voice,” Napier said about voting.

She said it was very easy to check in at the polls and felt the placement of the polling stations and other precautions were necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“I think I made the right choice,” she said.

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Madison Twp. man said Election Day is a tradition

Lucas Brongersma said it was more traditional for him to show up and vote at his Madison Twp. polling station instead of voting early.

“I kind of heard that there were some really long lines and stuff like that so I didn’t know what I was walking into,” he said. “I figured we’d check it out before school and if not, hop in (line) after drop-off.”

Some voters came to cast their ballots at the Butler County Board of Elections on election day Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020 in Hamilton. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
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Some voters came to cast their ballots at the Butler County Board of Elections on election day Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020 in Hamilton. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Brongersma said the line to vote "wasn’t bad and it was a safe voting place.

“It all turned out pretty good,” he said. “I’m glad I went when I did.”

Brongersma said the polling place at the Madison Schools Auxiliary Gym did not seem much different than in past years. He said the poll workers were really helpful and explained everything.

“I always feel that if you don’t voice your opinion (by voting), then your opinion really doesn’t matter.”

Brongersma, 31, said there are a lot of things that affect me now than in the last election.

“I want things to go in a certain direction and that’s why I came out to vote,” he said.

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