A couple dozen residents of Hamilton County came to the Democrat headquarters in Webster City to be among the first in the county to cast their votes.
Over a luncheon, Democrats ate and talked politics from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday before heading to the auditor's office. Chairman of the Central Committee for the Hamilton County Democrats Steve Duffy said the headquarters in Webster City made a lot of phone calls and sent many emails to get the word out about the event. He expected 25 to 30 people to show up for early voting.
Duffy has been chairman since February of this year, and said he was pretty active in politics in Humboldt county. Recent elections have increased the importance of casting early, absentee votes.
Chairman of the Hamilton County Democrats Steve Duffy, left, discusses politics with two locals. Local Democrats gathered Thursday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for a luncheon and then went to the polls to cast early ballots.
"I think, since 2008, it made a big difference in the elections overall," Duffy said. "I think both parties have become much more aware of it. In 2010, the Republicans learned a big lesson from the last [Presidential] election and really worked hard to get that early vote out."
He said that early voting is effective because it gets people to vote that might not otherwise. While Hamilton County auditor Kim Schaa said in an interview with the Daily Freeman-Journal on Wednesday that absentee voting is supposed to only be for voters who will be out of the county on election day. However, those rules have become more lax and both the Obama and Romney campaigns have been pushing for people to vote early. Several Democrats at the headquarters said they would be out of the county, and a couple out of the country, on election day.
Duffy said he supports the President and the Democratic party because of their philosophy towards those less fortunate.
"The measure of a society is, in my opinion, how it takes care of its weakest," Duffy said. "It's not 'To each his own and the devil take the hindmost.' That's the way, sometimes, Republicans come off."
Duffy said he grew up working class, and his brother is on disability. He said people like his brother need the support of the country in order to survive.
In addition to campaign schwag, forms for voter registration and requests for an absentee ballot, the Hamilton County Democrat headquarters will have a fundraiser on Oct. 14 at 1 p.m. with chili served. Duffy said Shelly Stotts, running for state Senate district 24, will be there. Candidate Becky Perkovich, running for the state House seat in district 48, has not confirmed if she will attend.
The Democrat headquarters is open Monday through friday from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday