Bureau and Putnam Counties see early rush of voters

Clerks report larger early voting numbers and busy polling locations

Voter booths are nearly full at the Moose Lodge on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022 in Princeton.

The election day theme early on Tuesday across Bureau and Putnam Counties, was that the polling places were staying busy with voters taking advantage of the last chance to have their voices heard.

Putnam County Clerk Tina Dolder, who spent the early part of her morning checking out various polling places throughout the county, put it best.

“It’s a busy place today,” Dolder said. “I can’t give a percentage yet, but I do know it’s going to busier because of the Sheriff and County Board races.”

Dolder added that she has seen lines in Hennepin, busy parking lots in Granville and even a nice turnout in Putnam itself.

Over in Princeton, Bureau County Clerk Matthew Eggers shared the same idea when it came to the early election day numbers in the county, but also added that they have seen an increase in the number of people taking advantage of early voting options.

“As opposed to a presidential election, I think it’s been comparable,” Eggers said. “Our vote by mail has been more than normal for a regular midterm. We’ve sent out over 1,600 vote by mail requests.”

While the numbers haven’t been tallied at this point, both county had a fair number of residents taking advantage of early and vote by mail options.

As to what races are bring voters to the polls, the answer seemed to vary from voter to voter.

With state-wide elections, including Governor, Secretary of State, Treasurer and more; voters in Bureau and Putnam Counties also have a plethora of local races that will be decided through their vote.

“If you want to have a say in it, you have to vote,” Granville Resident Kelly Gotz said. “This is only chance every two years that we get a say it what goes on in this country.”

In Putnam County two local races were front and center in people’s minds, that being the County Sheriff and County Board positions.

The county will decide the five county board seats from the nine running candidates. All five incumbents are running for reelection.

For Sheriff, Candidate Brian Gonet (R) and Candidate Joshua Boedigheimer (D) face off for the position.

“I think the only race here in the county is county board,” Gotz said “The two sheriff candidates are both well qualified so we are not going to lose with either one. We are going to be happy with either one.”

Bureau County features a contested County Clerk and Recorder race between Incumbent Eggers (R) and Challenger Dylan Benavidez (D) and county board elections.

Whether they were there to cast their votes for local candidates or giving their opinion on statewide races, it was clear that to them this was an important day for the community.

“As we all know our nation is so polarized right now and if people do not step up and do their part then we can’t fix it,” Granville Resident Megan Goetz said. “I think everybody has to get out and do what they need to do and I think this is big part of our constitutional right.”

Some even took a much more directly approach to their reasoning for voting Tuesday.

“Get the idiots out that are in there,” Granville Resident Larry Faletti said.