Ann Maher Oct. 31, 2012, 6:34pm

Early voting in Madison County indicates that more Republicans that Democrats have cast ballots.

But the large majority of the 19,737 votes cast so far are Independent or new voters - 13,141 - according to County Clerk Mark von Nida.  Twenty-six were non-partisan, he said.

"We are pretty much on track with 2008, which means we are looking at a total of 30,000," he said.

Von Nida also said that approximately 2,500 people have been voting per day in early voting that started on Oct. 22 and concludes Nov. 3.

He said the per day voter figure tends to track up closer to deadline. In 2008, there were 5,000 who voted on the last day of early voting.

Everything has been running smoothly so far, he said.

"We've been doing this for over a week and it's working fairly well," he said.

Early voting equipment is different than that used on election day, he said. It is electronic with paper trail and it has every single ballot style of the county. On election day, voters go to their precincts where they vote on specific ballots.

"People who are brand new to using early voting equipment have been kind of confused because its different than what we use on election day," he said.

In Madison County, there's a total of 145 different ballot combinations.

There are three different Congressional districts, eight different legislative districts, 29 different county board districts and about 20 different communities with referendum questions.

Von Nida said he is a proponent of early voting, believing early voting makes things more convenient for voters and more  manageable for his office.

"When I started, election day used to be a day or two out of the year," he said. "Now, it's two weeks before and through election day. It's really like running a marathon."

(Bethany Krajelis contributed to this report).

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