By Ron VandenBoom
Monday and Tuesday are two of the busiest days of the year for Diane Mellem, Hill County clerk and recorder, as she prepares for Tuesday's primary election in Hill County.
"It's a very important election," Mellem said Monday, while preparing for the upcoming contest.
Mellem said that today is actually busier than Tuesday, as she and her crew of workers move ballots, booths, and supplies all over the county for the election judges to set up.
Absentee voting closed at noon today and, according to Mellem, turnout has been average or slightly below so far this year.
"I'm hoping that will mean a tremendous turnout tomorrow at the polls and that everyone's in town," she said.
Polls will open at 7 a.m. Tuesday and remain open until 8 p.m.
Voters will receive an "open ballot" when they go to vote Tuesday. According to Mellem, they will receive three ballots a Republican, a Democratic, and a Reform Party ballot.
Voters will take all three ballots into the booth but must mark only one of the ballots. The ballot they mark should then be placed into the secrecy envelope that says "voted ballot" and the other ballots into the reject envelope.
The judge will then place the voted ballot into the ballot box and the blank ballots into reject box.
Mellem said the "optec system" will be used in this election to read the ballots and she urges voters to be sure to connect the arrows with a plain dark line.
She also urges voters not to try and fix a ballot if they make a mistake, but to return to the judges who will provide a new ballot.
Ballots with X's or squiggles crossing out a vote can void a vote.