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General election draws high voter turnout

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Voters line up down the hall and out the door

Voters line up down the hall and out the door as they wait for the polls to open on Tuesday at the Catholic Church. The doors were opened at exactly 7 a.m.

Johnson County voters came out stronger than every before to have their voices heard in the 2020 general election. With a total of 4,952 ballots cast, Johnson County set a new record for highest number of voters in a single election. Nearly a quarter of those votes were submitted via absentee ballots, in part because of concerns surrounding COVID-19. These images were gathered over the course of the day, from before the polls opened hours after they closed when the results were announced on the second floor of the county courthouse. 

Cheryl Benner welcomes voters into the polling station

Cheryl Benner welcomes voters into the polling station when the doors open for the morning on Tuesday. Benner has worked as an election judge in the past but isn’t this year since she is a candidate on the ballot.

Voters stop at the front table to check their precinct

As the polls open, voters stop at the front table to check their precinct or if they knew it go straight to their registration table on Nov. 3, 2020.

Masks were recommended but not required

Masks were recommended but not required at both of Buffalo’s polling locations on Tuesday. Official signs were spread throughout the entrances as well as a few handmade ones left from other uses in the space.

An American flag is put out front of the Catholic Church

An American flag is put out front of the Catholic Church with a sign announcing the polling location on Tuesday. The morning sun rose on the church as the doors were opened.

Dennis Dobbin checks his precinct with the front table

Dennis Dobbin checks his precinct with the front table on Tuesday. Dobbin said he considered voting his “duty.”

“I Voted Today” stickers were the quick trade for returned ballots

After ballots are put through the voting machines, election judges offer up an “I Voted Today” sticker.

Cowboy hats set atop the coat rack

Cowboy hats set atop the coat rack as they wait for their owners to finish voting in the Catholic Church on Tuesday.

John Thorburn helped with a number of different jobs on election day

John Thorburn helped with a number of different jobs on election day including sorting the voter cards that were turned in with ballots on Tuesday at the Bomber Mountain Civic Center. Thorburn is retired and has been volunteering as a election judge since 2012.

Trigg Taylor, 6, helps feed his mom’s ballot through the machine

Trigg Taylor, 6, helps feed his mom’s ballot through the machine on Tuesday afternoon at the Bomber Mountain Civic Center. “It’s important that they know it’s their civic duty and that it’s important,” said Samantha Taylor, Triggs mom, about why they brought their kids with them to vote.

Shannon Sickler sanitizes pens at the front desk on the afternoon

Shannon Sickler sanitizes pens at the front desk on the afternoon of the general election on Tuesday, at the Bomber Mountain Civic Center. They were running out of new pens and so started sanitizing pens so that they would have enough for the remaining voters of the day.

A voter left his Trump 2020 hat on a table outside while he went in to vote

Unable to wear it inside the gym, a voter left his Trump 2020 hat on a table outside while he went in to vote on Tuesday. No candidate paraphernalia is allowed to be worn inside of a polling place so hats must be removed and coats must cover any shirts that advertise a candidate.

Voter number cards lay on the stage after being turned in

Voter number cards lay on the stage after being turned in on Tuesday in the Bomber Mountain Civic Center. The cards are used as a second check to make sure that all ballots given out are accounted for at the end of the day.

Taylor Klaahsen laughs as she unpacks a precinct pack in the courthouse

Taylor Klaahsen laughs as she unpacks a precinct pack in the courthouse with the help of mother-in-law Mary Klaahsen on Tuesday. The pair were working with the precinct packets collected in Buffalo while they waited for Kaycee’s packet to arrive and the rest of the absentee ballots to be complete.

Mary Klaahsen, right, stands in the doorway to the back room

Mary Klaahsen, right, stands in the doorway to the back room as the clerks office employees wait for the rest of the absentee ballots to be counted on Tuesday. The absentee ballots delayed the delivery of results as they continued to be counted even after the poles closed for the day.

The clerks office had the presidential election reports pulled up on a computer

While election results were coming in for Johnson County, the clerks office had the presidential election reports pulled up on a computer in the office on Tuesday. Wyoming was predicted as a red state a minute after the polls closed. As of Tuesday night, Johnson Counties president/vice president votes were: 3,881 for Trump/Pence, 897 for Biden/Harris, 86 for Jorgensen/Cohen, and 27 for Pierce/Ballard.

Vicki Edelman walks out of the counting room with the final results packet

Johnson County Clerk Vicki Edelman walks out of the counting room with the final results packet on Tuesday. Edelman took the results upstairs and read them while extra copies of the packet were made up for everyone who wanted one.

Vicki Edelman walks upstairs to deliver the results

Johnson County Clerk Vicki Edelman walks upstairs to deliver the results to the waiting crowd upstairs on Tuesday. In past years everyone waited in the Clerks Office and hallway. In order to promote social distancing, everyone was moved upstairs to the county commission room.

County Clerk Vicki Edelman reads off the results

County Clerk Vicki Edelman reads off the results to a room of local news representatives and candidates on Tuesday night. They moved the announcement upstairs so as to spread attendees out more due to COVID-19 concerns.

Scott Madsen takes notes as results are announced

City councilor Scott Madsen takes notes as results are announced for the general election on Tuesday. Madsen was up for reelection this year and was elected for another term alongside newly councilman John Camino. Final results arrived just after 10 p.m.

Photojournalist

Jessi Dodge joined the Bulletin as a photojournalist and a Report for America corp member in 2020. If you have ideas or comments, reach out at jessi@buffalobulletin.com.

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