Forest County has seen uptick in voter registration

There has been a surge of voter registrations in Forest County.

Jean Ann Hitchcock, the county’s director of elections and voter registration, said about 100 people have registered to vote in recent weeks.

“There has been a lot of interest in the election. People have been calling with questions and to see if they are registered to vote,” Hitchcock said.

She said the interest is greater than normal even for a presidential election.

The total number of registered voters in Forest County is 3,424.

A total of 1,906 voters are registered as Republicans and 1,144 voters are registered as Democrats. The remaining 374 are registered as either Independent or third party.

Hitchcock said she has also received a steady stream of requests for mail-in and absentee ballots totaling about 300 requests. She also said she has received several calls from people canceling their requests for mail- in ballots so they can vote in person at the polls on Nov. 3.

Polling places in all 11 precincts will be open on election day, Hitchcock said.

Hitchcock said about 600 mail-in and absentee ballots were requested in the county leading up to the June primary.

Most people who have a post office box have been directing Hitchcock to include the box number, she said, so she doesn’t think there will be a problem with ballots not getting delivered due to issues with addresses.

Hitchcock said she hopes to begin sending ballots out at the end of next week. She said she is waiting for the digital version of the ballot to be sent to her from an entity in Nebraska that programs the ballot for the election.

The deadline for registering to vote is Oct. 19, and the last day to request a mail-in ballot is 5 p.m. Oct. 27.

All mail-in ballots must be returned to the county election office in the courthouse or postmarked by 8 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 3.