Going to Vote Early...Prepare To Wait In Line!

October 28, 2004 – Posted at 3:22 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO -- The general election is still five days away, but many voters are taking advantage of the opportunity to vote early. In fact, record numbers of early voters have turned out across the state, but will the early ballots make things easier for county clerks?

If you want to vote early, expect to stand in line.

"It's a record number for even a presidential year," said Craighead County Clerk Nancy Nelms, "We've had a steady flow ever since we started a week ago Monday. It's picked up a little more every day. Yesterday we had 871 and today, I expect at least 900 today."

And you can expect to see a wide range of voters this year.

"We're having a lot of first time voters. We had a lady 79-years-old come in and had never voted in her life, and she suddenly decided that she wanted to vote. We're having a lot of young people that are interested this year, and that's good," said Nelms.

Most of the folks in line said they didn't mind waiting in line to cast their ballots early, in fact, most said they expect the lines and the wait time to be even longer on election day.

Voter Mike West said, "I predict there will be a long waiting line next Tuesday."

"I've voted on actual November 2nd and it's been a three or four hour wait before and it looks like it's no more than 30-45 minutes at the most here," said voter Josh Hopkin.

"I thought with a rainy day, after lunch or before lunch there wouldn't be long lines, but on the second, there's going to be long lines," said voter Kevin Box as he stood in line.

Most voters at the Craighead County Courthouse Thursday waited anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour to vote. Lines and wait times are expected to be much longer on Election Day.