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Absentee ballots could lead to record primary voting in Vermont

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Published: Aug. 10, 2020 at 4:08 PM EDT
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - We're hours away from Vermont's primary election and the secretary of state says we could break a record for turnout because of the high number of people who have already voted. Our Calvin Cutler has more on how many people have voted so far and how it compares to past years.

More than 100,000 people have already cast their ballots, making it a record year for early voting.

Some 152,000 people requested absentee ballots this year and more than 104,000 have returned their ballots so far.

The all-time record for primary voter turnout was in 2000 when 122,000 people cast votes.

Top election officials say the pandemic and the sheer number of contested offices are driving people to the polls.

“This year we have contested elections on both the Republican and Democratic sides. We have contested elections on both for the lieutenant governor on the Democratic and Republican side,” said Jim Condos, D-Vt. Secretary of State.

With more people mailing in their ballots, election officials say they don't expect to see big crowds at the polls but Condos expects it will be enough to push the previous record.

If you haven’t returned your absentee ballot, don’t put it in the mail. It’s too late for that. You’ll have to hand them in to your town clerk or at the polls which are open Tuesday until 7 p.m.

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