Big turnout for early voting

Nearly 400 residents stood in line Monday morning in an attempt to avoid a long wait to vote on Election Day.

The Johnson County Courthouse was open until noon Monday for residents searching for a place to vote before Tuesday. The turnout on Monday reached 381 people.

A total of 11,200 people, or 10.7 percent of the registered voters in the county, voted before Election Day, said Johnson County deputy clerk Reagan Higdon. Johnson County Clerk Sue Anne Misiniec predicted at least 10 percent of voters would cast their ballots before Tuesday.

Early vote centers were set up the last two Saturdays of April, as well as five polling sites that were open Monday through Friday last week. Residents could also vote at the courthouse during the week through most of April.

Due to the contested presidential race, Misiniec anticipates 50 percent of Johnson County registered voters will cast ballots in the primary election. The highest primary election turnout in recent years was 38.1 percent during the 2008 race, when then-Senator Barack Obama was running against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the democratic nomination.