DOWN FROM 2008Fewer absentee ballots cast this year

Published 11:28 am Friday, November 9, 2012

Fewer absentee ballots were cast in Warren County for Tuesday’s general election compared to four years ago, according to vote counts completed Thursday.

Unofficial results show 1,360 counted toward a voter turnout that reached 20,867 total ballots cast after election coordinators fed most of them through an optical mark scanner. Some with marks outside the lines or with too many creases were keyed manually into a central processor.

Thursday’s count didn’t include about 200 affidavit ballots that officials have processed since Wednesday morning. The Warren County Election Commission’s Resolution Board expects to complete that count today. Affidavit ballots filed at precincts generally are from voters who show up at the wrong precinct or have addresses that must be verified.

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A Nov. 27 runoff election for the District 5 Election Commission seat rounds out this year’s voting season. Incumbent Lonnie Wooley faces Gordon Cordes for the position.

The turnout percentage rose to 64.7 with the absentees, of which Republican nominee Mitt Romney made up 217 votes from Tuesday night’s poll vote. With a 292-vote lead through Thursday’s calculations, the math still points to President Barack Obama becoming the first Democrat to carry the county’s vote since President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1944.

In 2008, a record 21,573 ballots were cast countywide. The turnout percentage record is 72 percent, set in 1996.

County election commissions have until Dec. 16 to send the general election returns to the Secretary of State’s Office.

Obama won 43.7 percent of the vote statewide on Tuesday to Romney’s 55.3 percent. Obama’s raw vote was 30,000 less than in 2008. Romney’s total was 61,000 fewer than the 725,000 John McCain won four years ago.