Early voting began today at county courthouses around the state. Mail-in ballots also went out in the postal mail today for those who filled out a mail-in ballot application. Voters were already standing in line at the Morgan County Courthouse at 8AM this morning awaiting a chance to cast ballots in person.
Morgan County Clerk Jill Waggoner says they have procedures in place in case someone attempts to vote twice: “I don’t see it happening. I’m sure that in some places in the state it could. By signing the application [for a mail-in ballot], my judges or here in this office we will compare signatures. If the signature was way off, of course then my judges would get together and decide whether that person could vote or not. If by some strange happening that it wasn’t caught or the person went ahead and voted, there would be no way to tell one ballot from another once it goes into a tabulating machine, once it’s on the touch screen. That would be like trying to pull a needle out of a haystack. Unfortunately, once it goes through the tabulator it would be counted.”
Waggoner says that she’s extremely confident that a ballot wouldn’t be counted that shouldn’t be, especially this year when election fraud is on everyone’s radar: “We do have voter registration numbers. Again, if someone has a voter’s registration card, they are supposed to show it, but we cannot ask for identification. I know that is a sore subject with a lot of people. Hopefully, [a duplicate ballot] would be caught if it ever got to that point. To be quite honest, we have seen some different signatures come in here. If that happens, I contact my State’s Attorney and we move forward with what needs to be done – contacting that person and setting legal procedures in motion. I do feel very confident with my judges and my office staff that it would never get to the point that a ballot would be counted that shouldn’t.”
Waggoner says that if you do receive a mail-in ballot and wish to vote in person, an individual should bring the mail-in ballot with them either to early vote at the courthouse or election day and surrender the ballot to the election judges. Then, they will be given the opportunity to vote in person. Waggoner says everyone has the right to vote in the way in which they please.
Early voting will continue at the Morgan County Courthouse up to November 2nd. Hours will be from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturdays, October 3, 24, and 31st 9AM to 1PM. Monday, October 26 through Thursday, October 29 office hours extended: 8:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m to allow for extended voting hours.