Natrona County Primary Election Went Well
Voting in Natrona County went well during the primary on Tuesday, according to poll workers and County Clerk Renea Vitto.
"It was steady all day, very smooth," Vitto said Wednesday morning.
Of the approximately 35,000 registered voters in the county, 16,388, or slightly less than half, cast ballots. Of those, 14,309 were cast by Republicans and Democrats cast nearly all the rest, she said.
Absentee voting was up, with 3,870 voters deciding to either come to the Old Courthouse before Tuesday or vote by mail, Vitto said.
A lot of people, especially those who are unaffiliated with a party, registered with a party at the polls especially because of the race for the state's top elected official, she said. "This was a very contested governor's race."
Her office ran into some trouble with the tabulating machine, but was able to get those kinks worked out early Tuesday evening.
The Clerk's Office also must conduct a mandatory recount in the GOP County Assessor primary between Matt Keating and incumbent Tammy Saulsbury because Keating's unofficial lead is less that 1 percent, Vitto said.
The margin of Keating's unofficial lead of 116 votes underscored the importance of voting, she said. "If you don't think your vote doesn't count in Natrona County, think again."
Other than that, the primary went well.
At the Restoration Church, 411 S. Walsh Drive, election coordinator Jason Widdoss said voting was steady with some people waiting in line when the polls opened at 7 a.m. He himself arrived at 5:30 a.m. to check the computers to see they were working, found a couple of software glitches and fixed those.
There were only a few times when people had to wait for one of the eight people working the computers to take their information before sending them to one of the six precincts with their tables set up in the church, Widdoss said.
Two years ago, Vitto selected the church and the Industrial Building at the Natrona county Fairgrounds to consolidate 20 polling places that had been at schools. The consolidation initially raised some protests because people had to drive farther than in the past.
But people are used to it now, and one of the consolidated polling places -- the former Roosevelt High School -- reopened for voting.
Those concerns are gone especially at the church where the lighting is soft and has a calming effect on the voters, Widdoss said. "People really like voting here."