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      Hitting the polls

      After a 25 percent increase in the number of people in Marquette County signing up for absentee voting, officials were prepared to deal with crowds on Tuesday, and they weren't disappointed.

      "We've been very busy," said Audrey Warren, chairperson of Precinct 5 in Marquette city. "We had a big, long line at seven o'clock when we opened up the polls."

      That was the rule, not the exception, at all locations.

      "The turnout has been very steady all morning long," agreed Dorothy Kuhn, chair of Precinct 1 in the city of Ishpeming. "We had a long lineup right at seven o'clock."

      According to officials, there has been a higher level of interest in this year's campaign than in previous presidential elections.

      "I just think there's a whole lot of interest on both sides of the aisle, and people are really wanting to have their say," said Warren.

      Despite a higher voter turnout, there were no major problems thanks to the addition of more voting machines and the expertise of poll staff and clerks. Experts speculated Tuesday afternoon that Marquette County could potentially see a record-breaking number of voters this election.

      "The highest turnout we have ever had in an election is 67 percent," said Connie Branam, Marquette County Clerk, "and I anticipate that being a little higher."

      Those who were worried about long lines had no reason to stay away from the polls. Officials said that after the opening of the polls at 7 a.m., traffic flowed smoothly and there were no backups.

      As far as breaking records? At the time of this post, polls were still open, so that will not be determined until the results are in.