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Kent County sees increased voter turnout for primary

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Posted at 4:21 PM, Mar 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-10 16:29:19-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Kent County saw a higher voter turnout for Tuesday’s presidential primary than 2016 hours before polls closed.

Employees at the clerk’s office have been busy all day with people registering to vote and then fill out a ballot. There are 474,000 registered voters in Kent County not including the City of Grand Rapids.

“We’re taking calls nonstop right now. Not necessarily problems, just voters interested in registering to vote for the first time and maybe a location that they just moved to or wanting to verify their precinct location,” said Kent County Elections Director Gerrid Uzarski.

The clerk’s office has also seen a 123% increase in absentee ballots and sent out 60,000 for the primary. They are expecting to see a return rate of about 90% and have already started working to count those.

“We've been processing absentee ballots all day long,” Uzarski said. “Across Kent County that's what the process is so we don't we don't want to get caught, running those late, who's encouraged all of our local clerks to start right when the polls open if they're able to, and get rid of those large numbers so we can hopefully have results for you sooner rather than later at the end.”

Votes made on the day of the election cannot start being tallied until polls close at 8 p.m.