Early voter turnout average

CNJ staff photo: Andy DeLisle
James and Sharon Lefebvre vote early at the Curry County clerk’s office on Monday. “It’s a lot easier on us,” he said. “We don’t have to fight the traffic on the day of the election.”

By Tonya Fennell: CNJ Staff Writer

With a smile on his face and a marked ballot clutched in his hand, Dutch Bilbry cast his vote Monday afternoon at the Curry County Courthouse.

Absentee and in-person early voting for the Nov. 7 general election began Oct. 10.
Bilbry is one of 317 Curry County residents who already has voted, according to Curry County Election Administrator Coni Jo Lyman. “Turnout has been about average,” Lyman said. The Curry County Clerk’s office has mailed 436 ballots, she said.

Early voting will open Saturday at North Plains Mall. Hours will be noon to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday.

This election marks the debut of the new state-funded M-100 tabulating machines.
The tabulator has built-in readers to recognize ballots, and reject any that are improperly filled out and immediately notify voters. The ballots used in this election are also different as voters are required to fill in an oval instead of continuing an arrow to cast their votes.

Bilbry, who has been a Curry County resident for 40 years, said he has voted in every election since he has been of age.

He said the new ballots and tabulating machines are user-friendly. “It’s simple,” Bilbry said. “If I can do it anybody can do it.”