County Clerk Reporting Record Early Voting, Says Don’t be Afraid to Vote by Mail

By Jeremy Coumbes on October 16, 2020 at 11:17am

Early voting in Morgan County is happening at a record rate this season.

Morgan County Clerk Jill Waggoner says there has been more early voting this year than in any previous election since she has been in office.

She says as of mid-morning Wednesday, a lot of ballots have already been cast.

Our early voters had 1,137 in, and then the judges who have been coming in to process the vote by mail ballots report, we’ve had 1,640 returned.”

Waggoner says there is no need to be concerned about voting by mail.

I know there is a lot of bad press about it, but actually vote by mail has been around for a very long time. It used to be called ‘absentee voting’. So what we are doing right now is, you can request an application which you would sign and date and mail back to our office, and then you would receive your ballot. There are instructions on how to fill it out. There is a secrecy envelope that you will put your ballot into. You have to sign and date your ballot’s certification; and it’s already postage paid that you can mail back to us or you can hand deliver it, or you can put it in the Morgan County drop box at the north door here at the Courthouse.”

Waggoner says there are also long standing safeguards in place to ensure someone cannot vote early, and then vote again at their local polling place.

There is a list that we print out the night before the election that goes out to all of my judges that shows if you have voted early or if you have voted by mail, and you will not have an application to vote in the precinct on election day. Now give or take, there is always the chance we may miss one or two because we’re only human, but we try to take all of those applications out- especially this election, before any election day.”

Waggoner says early voting at the Morgan County Courthouse can be a quick and safe alternative for those who are concerned about large crowds at their polling place on election day.

She says early voters go to her office and are asked a few questions and then sign their application. The signature is verified by what is on file with the clerk’s office, then the voter is given their ballot to fill out on paper or via an in-office touch screen.

Early voting at the Morgan County Courthouse is offered from  8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and on Saturdays, October 24th, and 31st, 2020 from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.