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Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette
Early voters line up at 1 W. Superior St. to cast their ballot Saturday afternoon. Officials said voters began lining up at 7 a.m., waiting for the doors to open at 8.

County’s early-voting lines form early

– People began arriving an hour early Saturday so they could vote early in the Nov. 6 election, according to the Allen County elections director.

Beth Dlug said people were sitting in their cars in the parking lot of the election board office at 7 a.m.

“We had a line out the door the first thing this morning,” she said.

It stretched along West Superior Street throughout the day, the first of two straight Saturdays for early voting. Dlug said 1,226 people cast ballots, with many waiting an hour or longer to reach a voting booth.

Before Saturday, 19,244 people had voted early in Allen County, including 1,300 on Friday. At the same point in 2008, the most recent presidential election year, 16,860 county residents had voted early, Dlug said.

The increase has come from in-person voting, she said, as the number of absentee ballots received by the election board has declined by about 100 to 9,896 so far this year.

In all, more than 150,000 county residents voted for presidential candidates four years ago.

Early-voting hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays through Friday; 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 3; and 8 a.m. to noon Nov. 5.