About 5,000 ballots cast in early voting

May 4—ANDERSON — Local party officials anticipate that about one-third of registered voters in Madison County will cast ballots in Tuesday's primary.

Through Thursday, about 5,000 votes had been cast in early voting at several satellite locations.

About 60% of the ballots cast have been in the Republican Party, which has the majority of contested county office races in the primary.

This is the third election cycle in which Madison County is using voting centers.

"Unfortunately, I believe the turnout will be low," Russ Willis, chairman of the Madison County Republican Party, said Friday.

He expects turnout to be between 25% and 30%.

"It's not a surprise that most of the ballots are in the Republican primary," Willis said, explaining that the contested nominations on the Republican Party ballot for governor and the 5th Congressional District are motivating Republicans to vote.

Terri Austin, chairperson of the Madison County Democratic Party, said the turnout Tuesday will be heavier than early voting.

"The top-of-the-ticket races are getting people to the polls," she said. "The one comment I'm hearing is that people are tired of the advertising."

Austin said although there are no candidates running for county offices on the Democratic Party, the party will fill all the vacancies by the July deadline.

"It will be a totally different dynamic in the fall election as far as who is available to run for office," she said.

According to the Madison County Clerk's office, the heaviest early voting has taken place in Pendleton, Alexandria, the church at the intersection of Cross Street and Scatterfield Road in Anderson and at the Madison County Government Center in Anderson.

Missy Giles, the inspector at the 4-H Building in Alexandria, said turnout has been steady since early voting at the site started Monday.

"We really expect to be a larger turnout on Saturday, depending on the weather," she said.

Giles said there have been no problems and that many of the "bugs" were worked out during the 2023 municipal election.

"Things are going a lot smoother," she said.

Kristi Grabowski, running for an at-large nomination on Madison County Council in the Republican Party primary, has been working daily at the Cross Roads Global Methodist Church, with her dog, Rush.

"It has ebbed and flowed," she said of the turnout. "What's interesting to me is that almost every person has come with walkers, canes and wheelchairs. It touches me that people realize the importance of the primary."

Grabowski said she has done work leading up to election day by walking and sending out mailers.

Sharon Gilmore, inspector at the Pendleton Public Library, described voter turnout there as "steady."

"We haven't been overwhelmed," she said.

Gilmore said there have been no problems other than a woman arriving and discovering her name was not on the list of registered voters.

The records mistakenly had her listed as deceased. The error was corrected and the woman was able to vote.

"We have a great team here and we work together," Gilmore noted.

Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 765-640-4863.