Updated Tue, Mar 6, 2012 11:56 am
Athens County buzzes with political talk as residents anticipate the results of Super Tuesday.
More presidential delegates can be won on Super Tuesday than on any other single day of the primary calendar and, accordingly, candidates seeking a position in office traditionally must do well on this day to secure their party's nomination.
There are 48,172 registered voters in Athens County, and residents requested 1,528 absentee ballots, with 1,336 returned so far.
Voters have the option of five primary ballot choices: Democrat, Republican, Green, Libertarian or Questions and Issues.
Voters are assigned to vote at one of 56 precincts throughout the county based on their residency.
The Republican presidential, the Athens County commissioners' and the Athens county engineer's races are anticipated to be the most heated races.
Ohio has 66 delegates up for grabs in the Republican presidential race, the second largest number of delegates among states casting ballots on Super Tuesday.
Although she expects the phones in the Board of Elections office will be ringing off the hook all day, Director Debbie Quivey says the real excitement begins at 7:30 p.m. when the polls close.
“The first thing we do is to total up the absentees and then we start counting regular votes and begin to break it down for the media a few precincts at a time. It is a very busy but exciting process,” said Quivey.
About 250 trained poll workers will volunteer their time for the Board of Elections, putting in 14 hours of work.
Deputy Director Penny L. Brooks says their service is crucial to running such a big election.
“These are wonderful citizens that help us and without them we wouldn’t be able to get through elections,” says Brooks. “They graciously are working for us and we train them. It’s just really great to have them and we hope that we can get more.”
Polls opened today at 6:30 a.m. and will remain open until 7:30 p.m.