While President Barack Obama won the national election, Chautauqua County voters turned out for Mitt Romney by about 9 percent more of the total vote.
Rural votes gave Romney the lead, as the cities of Dunkirk and Jamestown each gave higher votes to Obama. In Dunkirk, Obama tallied more than 1,100 votes ahead of Romney. In Jamestown, votes for Obama totaled over 600 above votes for Romney. Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson received 465 votes in the county, while Green Party candidate Jill Stein received 294 votes. Write-in candidates totaled 150.
More than 52,600 voters came to the polls in the county on Tuesday. Republican Commissioner of Elections Brian Abram said the polling sites operated smoothly despite staying busy. "The day went extremely well. We had to be patient with some people who were coming into the voting process for the first time, but it went very well. Our inspectors did a great job helping voters have a great experience," he said.
Earlier in the week, Abram predicted a turnout of voters around 65 to 70 percent of those registered in the county. "I think it was a little bit lower. I don't know because I just got the numbers, but it may be close to that range with the absentees."
"We had a lot of affidavit ballots," which Abram explained was likely due to "a lot of new voters and a lot of people who don't turn out that often as others. Their information might be different, like name changes or address because they moved across the street or across town and aren't in the poll book. Obviously, it was a good turnout and we'll get the numbers tallied as soon as possible."
Absentee ballots can't be opened until 13 days after the election so Abram said it will take some time to compile total numbers for the county.
When contacted by phone, Norman P. Green, who is the Democratic Commissioner of Elections and the Chautauqua County Democratic Party chairman refused to comment on the election. Chautauqua County Republican Party Chair Allan Hendrickson did not return a call for comment at the time of printing.
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