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Voter turnout is steady in Jefferson County for the general election as the time for poll closing nears. Although there were some issues throughout the day, voters were thankful to have a voice in the future of the county, the state and the nation.

Jefferson County GOP chairman Paul DeMarco said he has been watching closely all day. He is hopeful for a high Republican turnout in the blue county.

Jared Hudson (R) is challenging Sheriff Mark Pettway (D), and it’s one of the biggest local races on the ballot. Tuesday afternoon, DeMarco said overseas military ballots had already been counted and the majority of those went to Hudson. Absentee ballots were next to be counted, and DeMarco said he was waiting for those results and expected them before the polls close.

According to DeMarco, early in the day, he heard about complaints from polling places and most of them were concerning the voting machines, not poll workers or voters. He added that he believes across the nation the process of voting on machines needs to be reevaluated.

“At some point, I just think we need to go back to paper ballots and go back to tabulators,” said DeMarco. “I mean, something’s going on here.”

But things went well for many voters. A lifelong resident of Jefferson County, Steve Nash, said voting went smoothly at his precinct in Jefferson County.

“It was quick,” said Nash. “I even looked at my watch. I got in line and when I walked out the door it was five minutes. Of course, I already looked at everything, a pre-ballot before I went in. That’s the key to it. Know what to expect so you don’t waste time figuring out what you’re doing.”

In appreciation of the process, Nash said it’s important for him to cast his ballot because that’s the only way his voice can be heard.

“If you don’t go to the polls and express it, then I don’t want to hear about you whining and moaning,” Nash said. “If they say, ‘well, I’m just not going to vote,’ then I say, ‘well, just shut up, I don’t want to hear from you.’ That’s the only voice that you’ve got and it’s the only way we can do anything about it. Whether it comes out the way I want or not, at least I’m going to try.”

Nash said his biggest concerns with this election were national issues.

“You know, inflation, money, what it’s costing now and what it used to cost,” Nash explained. “One of my pet peeves is border security because I think that’s where a lot of the money is going to. But I think the economy is what’s foremost on everybody’s mind.”

Polls close at 7 p.m. If you have an issue to report, you are asked to contact your local Probate Judge or the Secretary of State.

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email erica.thomas@1819news.com.

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