Springfield’s top election official says voting across the city today (Tuesday) has been brisk, and is predicting turnout could be even higher than the 2008 Presidential election. It’s early afternoon at Springfield’s Elections office on the ground floor of City Hall, and several people are busy either helping voters at the counter or fielding phone calls from residents. Others are sorting and loading more than 2,500 absentee ballots into vehicles that will be delivered to specific polling precincts to be scanned and tabulated.
“We have people from every part of the city that are helping out, and we have seasonal staff, bilingual workers in the office, people running ballots. So we have…all hands on deck for this election for sure.”
Gladys Oyola, Springfield’s election commissioner, says things have been hectic since early this morning, and she doesn’t expect the pace to slow down until late tonight. She says turnout at the polls has also been busier than normal, adding that every polling place, from the lowest to the highest turnout location, has reported activity since they opened at 7am. And she says some voters were already in line before then, ready to cast their ballots.
“It’s surpassed our expectations in the sheer number of people that have been voting throughout the day. There’s peaks and ebbs, there’s, you know, the morning rush…people who go out and vote before work…lunchtime and then after 5 o’clock. But it’s been steady throughout the day.”
Oyola says she expects this year’s turnout in Springfield will surpass the nearly 60% turnout in the Presidential election four years ago.