The majority of precincts in Meridian saw high voter turnout during the first hour that polls were open.
In Precinct 1, there was a 40-45 minute wait during the first hour, and in Precinct 5 nearly 10 percent of registered voters turned out then.
“During that period, we had about a minute per voter,” said Precinct 1 chairwoman Beverly Stephens. “Right now, we have 697 ballots.”
“In the first 50 minutes, 160 people came in,” said Precinct 5 chairman Jim Brazier. “We are approaching about 700 votes.”
One challenge during early hours voting was the ballot tabulator jamming and saying the ballot was defective.
“After about 50 of them, I had everyone feed the ballots in from the bottom,” Brazier said. “It has something to do with the ballots issued. It has probably happened about 100 times.
In Precinct 3, chairman Edward Gent said approximately 150 people voted between 7 am and 8:30 am, but from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. only 350 voters casted their ballots.
But that still pales compared to the 7,313 absentee ballots that were received.
“That is a record for the township, as far as I know,” said Joan Horvath, the deputy clerk for Meridian Township. “It is the most in the past eight years.”
Meridian citizen Jameelah Lowrey came out to vote in person even though she isn’t satisfied with her choices.
“I think the candidates we have this year is a whole bunch of chaos,” she said. “I’m just voting to be against something else.”
Listen to Lowrey’s interview below: