'Crazy' voter turnout

Krystle Wagner • Jul 21, 2015 at 11:48 AM

Ottawa County elections coordinator Justin Roebuck said election officials had predicted a strong turnout, based on an increase in the number of registered voters in the county.

There are 34,553 registered voters in the cities of Ferrysburg and Grand Haven, Spring Lake Township, Spring Lake Village, and Grand Haven Township.

Ottawa County saw a 77 percent voter turnout in the 2008 presidential election, when 137,000 out of the 176,000 registered voters cast ballots.

Throughout Tuesday, polling locations in Northwest Ottawa County remained busy.

“It’s been crazy,” Grand Haven Township Clerk Sue Buitenhuis said Tuesday.

More absentee ballots were issued for Tuesday's elections, Roebuck said. At the end of last week, 31,000 absentee ballots were issued in Ottawa County, compared to the 28,000 issued in the 2008 general election.

“I’d never seen anything like that before,” Buitenhuis said about the large number of absentee ballots.

Ferrysburg City Clerk Debbie Wierenga said they saw a rush of voters when the polls opened at 7 a.m., but it slowed down after 8 a.m. She said voters only had to wait between 10 and 15 minutes before casting their ballots most of the day.

Roebuck said Tuesday’s turnout didn’t have any impact on operations at polling locations.

“Things have been going smoothly overall,” he said earlier Tuesday.

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