Election Day Dawns Wet; Heavy Turnout Still Expected

NOVEMBER 2, 2004 - Posted at 7:19 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Despite unofficial reports of as much as eight inches of rain in some parts of Region 8, most county election officials in northeast Arkansas and southeast Missouri are still bracing for a record voter turnout today.  More than 3.2 inches of rain have been reported in Craighead County in the past 24 hours, yet representatives with the Craighead County Clerk's office say high interest in the presidential and Jonesboro mayoral races will result in a large number of voters.

Arkansas Secretary of State Charlie Daniels says the final count for registered voters this year is 1,696,277.  The total includes more than 170,000 people who filed new voter registrations since the start of the year.

In a survey done by The Associated Press while the early voting polls were still open on Monday, county clerks statewide said 274,409 Arkansans had cast ballots.  In Craighead County, early and absentee voting accounted for 10,516 ballots, an increase of more than 1,728 ballots in 2000.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)