MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP - It’s Election Day and the polls have now been open for several hours, but the lines at the precincts aren’t as long as expected.
Some voters chose to skip the line by taking advantage of the early voting option that was made possible with the passage of Proposal 3 this past November.
So did the early voting option make a difference in voter turnout for this election?
Meridian Township Clerk Brett Dreyfus believes it has made an impact this year and will continue making an impact with almost 50% of votes being cast with early ballots in future elections.
“So in this particular election we have received more absentee ballots than we have in the past,” Dreyfus said. “And it just keeps increasing because we also increased our permanent AV list so people automatically get the application before every election.”
Dreyfus said the Township mailed out around 4,500 early voting ballots and have received back close to 4,000 so far on Election Day.
And because of the number of ballots that have been turned in ahead of time, polls around the area are seeing less of a turnout then expected.
“I did expect a little more than what there really is considering there’s two ballot issues that both involve tax payer wallets,” Dreyfus said. “They’re mileage requests and usually that’s going to get people out more than other types of ballot proposals. But this time we’re seeing a slightly lower turnout than what we anticipated.”
While voter turnout might be showing lower numbers so far, it’s still early with more time to vote this evening.