LAWRENCE, Kan. — Voters in Douglas County, Kansas, took the opportunity Wednesday to send a message.
"It's really important to me, especially as part of the younger generation, to make sure my vote counts and that my voice is heard," voter Val Rivera said Wednesday.
As of Wednesday afternoon, 642 people had cast their ballots, the highest figure since the 2008 presidential election, when between 200 to 250 people voted on the first day of advance voting.
To help with the increase, county officials are making changes by having four advance voting polling locations instead of just one.
- Douglas County Clerk’s Office, 1100 Massachusetts St., Lawrence
- Douglas County Fairgrounds – Flory Meeting Hall, 2120 Harper St., Lawrence
- Golf Course Superintendents Association Headquarters, 1421 Research Park, Lawrence
- S. Iowa Satellite Office – 2329 S. Iowa St (behind Texas Roadhouse), Lawrence
Voters in Lawrence said having different options to vote was important.
"Just having a lot of anxiety about mailing in my ballot. So, I figured it would take my time today to come in early and make sure it's done," said Rivera.
"Pandemic, avoiding crowds and all of the lovely things like politically that are going on. (Nov. 3) seems like it would be a stressful day," voter Eric Havens said.
Election workers are trying to ease COVID-19 concerns by cleaning around the clock and having other precautions like plastic glass dividers when people register and spaced out voting booths.
While early voting in the county goes until Nov. 2, Wednesday's voters say why wait?
"I mean why not? Waiting on something in this very finite time. Things can happen, it gets stressful, it could be long lines," Havens said. "Might as well come out while you are getting groceries and just do it really quickly. Super easy."