ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Many early voters throughout Bernalillo County found the beautiful weather a good day to vote.
“It’s a nice day, we’ve got time,” said voter Jim Channelll at the Tramway and Montgomery location.
That location had nearly 60 people waiting outside just before lunch on Wednesday, not counting the people waiting inside the building.
“We came to avoid the lines,” laughed one voter at the same location.
But the lines didn’t keep voters away.
“I was very surprised to see the line, in years past I haven’t seen a line for early voting, I don’t think ever,” said Kimberly Wiley at the Golf Course voting location.
A spokesperson for the Bernalillo County Clerk’s Office said the large turnout has been unexpected.
“We’ve seen a particularly high turnout this year,” said Joey Keefe with the Clerk’s office.
Based on the numbers Keefe sent, the number of voters this year compared to the election in 2012, are up 40 percent.
“We’ve stayed pretty steady at that number so I’m expecting in this early voting period, it’d be safe to say we’d have about 30,000 more voters,” said Keefe.
He said they’ve had to send extra computers to check voters in faster.
“We’ve had to send some extra poll officials to deal with the long lines,” said Keefe. He said they’ve seen more than 55,000 voters at the 19 early voting centers throughout the county.
“It just goes to show that this is an important election for our nation,” said voter Wiley.
Of course, early voting is becoming more and more popular in general, because it is said to be quicker and more convenient. It could also be that a lot more voters have made up their minds earlier than usual.
“Presidential elections, there’s always a lot of passion, always a lot of energy,” said Keefe. “Either way, you can expect a wait if you’re voting early this election.”