Henderson County Elections Administrator Denise Hernandez said the county's first foray into election centers went well on Tuesday, as the county turnout exceeded most constitutional amendment votes.

Of the 52,060 registered voters, 7.761 ballots were cast, accounting for a 14.41% turnout.

"That's not bad, because usually we get anywhere from 2.5% to 5%," Hernandez said. "It's nice to know our voters are taking more of an interest in the democracy process."

Hernandez said the Constitutional Amendment Election gave workers a chance to get familiar with the new equipment which will help when the Republican and Democratic Primary Elections roll around in March.

"I know we had a state inspector out at all of our polling places," Hernandez said. "When she came in and ended up our location she gave rave reviews on my elections workers. That made me a little proud."

In February, the county voted to buy equipment from Election Systems & Software at a cost of about $650,000. ES&S is an Omaha, Nebraska-based company that manufactures and sells voting machine equipment and services.

The new machines have touch screens where voters to make their selections. Then, when all of the choices are made, the machine prints out a record of the voter's picks. The voter takes that to a separate machine and submit it.

"You still had some uninformed voters who hadn't seen anything," Hernandez said. "I mentioned to them that we post in a newspaper of general circulation before early voting starts. Once I gave them the information on where they can find future elections, I think they were happy with it."

Hernandez said her office could use more workers for the next election.

"We need a lot more volunteers for the elections," Hernandez said. "We had a lot of our clerks back out last minute, so some of our locations weren't fully staffed, but they were able to handle flow. They did work hard all day."

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