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In-person voting turnout exceed expectations, marking record setting year

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Throughout the morning of election day, inside the Prairie Hills Mall, a continuous number of voters came to cast their ballot. (Josiah C. Cuellar/The Dickinson Press)

Citizens of Stark County crowded the polls early Tuesday morning at the Prairie Hills Mall and Henry Biesiot Activities Center to exercise their constitutional right to vote in what is shaping up to be a record setting turnout year.

The line of soon-to-be voters wrapped around the wall outside the Cash Wise mall entrance, some wearing masks, others not, but each patiently awaiting their opportunity to cast their vote in national and local elections.

“The long line wasn't bad, surprisingly it went by fast.” Chad Mcgarvey, a Stark County resident, said.

A little after 8 a.m. an announcement was made to those waiting in line that the polls at the BAC were not as busy, and that they could head over to that polling location if desired. Soon after the announcement the size of the line dwindled, but most stayed committed to walk the line.

“I just want to make sure my voice is heard,” Mathew Myers, a Stark County resident, said after filling out his ballot.

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Inside the voting area, after each person was done filling in their ballot their seat and desk area were sanitized to help ensure the safety of voters health.

“They had the position on Facebook and I thought it would be something good to learn from,” Annette Kilwein, helping with sanitation, said. “Some of us are here to volunteer because it seems like a good experience and something to be part of.”

The polls stayed busy throughout the morning.

“As the people it's our right to vote,” Majang Kuon, a 34 year-old field technician for an oilfield company said. “We have to vote to have the leadership that we want.”

Voter, Sarah Vearrier, felt the line was “really not too bad,” compared to previous years and she was not alone with this opinion.

“I felt that the line was longer in 2016 but I was at the BAC,” Austin Glaze, a seven year resident of ND said. “I think there's a lot at stake, I think the two candidates and the parties have very different views where the country needs to go and I think we need to remind them who decides where the country goes; it's us not them.”

What does seem unanimous was the support voters had for all, regardless of political affiliation, coming out to do their part in this year's election process.

“It's important for everybody to vote, every single person,” Reanna Knight said “Some people think ‘oh one vote doesn't matter’ but if everyone who thought like that voted, those votes would make a difference.”

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Related Topics: DICKINSONELECTION 2020
Josiah C. Cuellar was born in San Angelo, Texas, a small rural community in the western part of the state known for its farming, ranching and beautiful Concho River. A Texas A&M San Antonio graduate specializing in multi-media reporting, Cuellar is an award winning photographer and reporter whose work focuses on community news and sports.
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