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Brendyn Rogers votes in the city of Kokomo election while a line of people waiting at the UAW 685 Union Hall on Tuesday Nov. 5, 2019. Poll workers said the waits were no longer than 5-10 minutes.

Nearly double the voters cast their ballot Tuesday than they did in the 2015 election.

The voter turnout landed at 36% of registered voters in Kokomo. That number is unofficial as of Tuesday night. The influx of voters caused delays in election results.

“This is significantly higher than four years ago,” Derick Steele, Howard County Election Board member said. “I couldn’t speak on historically, if it’s a record, but it’s high. It’s almost 50% more voters than there were four years ago.”

Throughout the day, voters were almost always present, but there were rarely lines longer than 5 minutes. However, malfunctioning printers did cause some slowdown at the Carver Community Center and Kokomo First Assembly throughout the day, poll inspector at Kokomo First Assembly, Richard Abel, said.

Abel said that a technician traveled between Carver and First Assembly to fix printer issues throughout the day.

“It hasn’t slowed us down too much,” he said. “We’ve never had both printers down at once, and we’ve never had a big line.”

Even though there wasn’t a line, Abel said voters were constantly entering and exiting.

“It’s a lot busier than I expected,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of people.”

Voters were coming and going at UAW Local 685, 929 E. Hoffer St., Tuesday morning. Even though the pace had not slowed down, waits were no longer than 5 or 10 minutes, poll inspector Donna Lawson said.

“For a city election, this is very busy,” she said. “This is great. Our early voting, Tuesday through Sunday, had 600 ballots cast.”

Lawson, who has been working as an inspector for 25 years, said local elections like this one are typically much slower. She said the union has been very supportive of the election workers, and even encouraged people to go vote.

“I think it’s even busier than usual with the strikes and everything,” she said. “We’ve all been, ‘Hey come out and vote.’ Bring your friends, bring your enemies. We don’t care how you vote, just vote. Voter participation is what we need.”

Election worker Willie Thompson, who was working at Northview Church, said even though she hadn’t worked the precinct in years, she was impressed with voter presence.

“This is really good for number for this kind of election,” she said. “Most people would stay home and wait to vote in the spring for the presidential (primary) but there’s been a lot of people out today.”

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