It’s six weeks before Nov. 6, but people are already turning in their votes.
Monday marks the first day of early and absentee voting this year.
Within an hour of opening it’s doors, Bannock County’s early voting location at the courthouse had seen 10 people come in, and election officials expect that pace to pick up.
“On a big election year as this year for president and that, I think we’re going to see people coming out of the woodwork to vote, and I hope they do,” Bannock County Clerk Dale Hatch said.
Some of those very first voters, said emergencies can come up on election day. They want to make sure early they can make their voices heard.
“I came because it is the first day and I love to vote. I never miss a chance to do my voting, it’s a wonderful privilege,” Marlene Hummel said just after voting.
Along with walk-in voting, absentee ballots have been sent out. Local election officials said often those that vote absentee are some of the most informed voters.
“I think that when you vote absentee they’ve thought about it a little more, and digested it with their families,” Hatch said.
Local political groups are helping to get the word out about early voting. Monday at noon a crowd with the Bannock County Democrats waived their signs along the side of the road, letting people know they don’t have to wait for Nov. 6 to vote.
“We want to educate, and people are entitled to know and exercise their civic duty,” Bannock County Democrats Chair Catalina Steckbauer said.
Election officials also wanted to clear up some confusion about voter I.D. laws. No one will be turned away if they don’t have I.D. They will just be required to sign an affidavit confirming their identity.