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Election judges prepared for low turnout

CHAMPAIGN COUNTY -- There are usually always lines of voters waiting to cast ballots for presidential elections, but Tuesday's election is a different story.
CHAMPAIGN COUNTY -- There are usually always lines of voters waiting to cast ballots for presidential elections, but Tuesday's election is a different story. Only 25% of registered voters are expected to cast a ballot in Champaign County.

With fewer lines, there have been fewer problems. WCIA-3's Erica Quednau has the latest.

A slow, but smooth day. Champaign County Clerk Gordy Hulten says there haven't been any problems and that the entire day has gone really well.

With little to worry about inside polling places, like St. Matthews Church, there has been plenty of time for bonding.

"We're a very friendly group and we all like each other."

Laughter, chit-chat and a little bit of reading are things you might not expect inside your polling place.

"We do a lot of talking and joking. Sometimes we bring books to read or one lady today brought a Sudoku book to do. I'm regretting I didn't bring my crossword book or else I'd be doing crosswords."

But on a slow Election Day, election judges like Bob Kock can't help but have a little fun.

"The turnout has been slow but steady. We never had a line."

They were also never empty.

"I vote all the time. I want to see some changes in Urbana and somewhere around the area."

Jack Opolka has lived in Urbana for more than 80-years. He wasn't going to miss a chance for his voice to be heard.

"I just think it's absolutely important that we vote. People care a lot about their local races, as they should because the folks that are elected today control 80 - 90 percent of your property tax bill."

Seats for park district, municipalities and school boards are all up for grabs.

"We'll have higher turnout where we have contested races locally."

But, still not enough for a late night.

"Today the polls close at 7 pm, and because we have fewer ballots, we might be done by 8:00."

If we look at how last year's April election went for other counties, we can expect about 6,000 people to vote this year in Vermilion County and about 3,000 in Coles County.
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