It has been a busy few days for Quay County Clerk Jeanette Maddaford and her staff in the county clerks office as hundreds of people have registered to vote in the upcoming general election and already a good number have voted either by absentee ballot or by early ballot in person at her office..
Maddaford is hesitant to say just why she thinks so many are making the trip to her office to register and to vote or to mail in for an absentee ballot but it is indeed an “amazing” number. “From what they say to me is that they are either voting against somebody or for somebody,” said Maddaford.
Maddaford said whichever response they have given her they have been very passionate about their choice. In fact, she said that is what seems to be the most prevalent aspect of the election season in the last week or so – the passion of those who are either registering or voting.
The Quay County Clerk said the numbers are indicative of that passion also. She said she has never seen anything like the numbers that are registering, requesting absentee ballots and voting early.
Maddaford said in the last two days, over 200 people registered to vote. Tuesday was the last day to register to vote in New Mexico and 62 people took advantage of that last day. In fact more people registered on Monday, but Maddaford attributes that to the fact that Monday was the final day of registration in Texas and a number of Quay County residents were apparently watching Texas television stations or listening to Texas radio stations. Maddaford said her office sent out over 296 absentee ballots by mail Tuesday. Assistant Clerk Ellen White said of those 296, 16 were going overseas. Eight were going to the military and another eight were going to other individuals overseas.
White said of those not in the military one was from Germany, two were in Korea, one was in Iraq, one was in Kenya, one was in Nicaragua and two were in France.
Maddaford said to put the numbers into perspective she pointed out that in the last presidential election a total of 644 people voted by mail. This year in the first day she has sent out roughly half that number of ballots and traditionally mailed out ballots are almost certainly returned.
“This is the first day,” said Maddaford. “We still have 19 more days to go.”
Maddaford said she anticipates it will be an extremely busy 19 days for the county clerk’s office because of the interest in the Presidential election. She anticipates it will be the busiest vote in her memory. The county clerk’s office began letting Quay County Voters to vote early in her office on Tuesday. Early voting in person at the clerk’s office will be permitted until Oct. 30 at 6 p.m.. Mail-in absentee votes will be accepted until the close of her office on election day.