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Voters from five precincts fill the rows of small booths as they cast their votes for the mid-term election early Tuesday morning at the Bismarck Event Center. 

Bismarck-Mandan poll workers compared Tuesday’s voter turnout to the 2016 presidential election.

At least that’s what it felt like to Aanders Jackson, who said he’s volunteered at the polls for the past 16 years.

“It’s just been like this all day long,” Jackson said, gesturing to the full voting booths.

Before the polls opened at Century Baptist Church in legislative District 47, there was a line stretching about 200 feet outside the church, Jackson said.

“In the first 40 minutes, we already had 250 voters,” he said.

Terrance Tyler had shown up earlier in the day, around 11 a.m., and the line still reached into the church lobby. When he came back around 5 p.m., it took him less than 5 minutes to vote.

Tyler said he returned because he felt it was important to weigh in on the state’s issues. Measure 3 was of importance to him. He said he supported the recreational marijuana measure because he thought it would create more jobs, decrease incarceration and lead to less prescription drug abuse.

The voting machines at the church had taken 2,368 ballots and counting. One worker thought they might break 3,000.

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Mandan’s Spirit of Life Catholic Church had 1,351 voters by around 6 p.m. Volunteer Bernice Thomas had already handed out one full roll of “I voted” stickers.

“And I’m not sure this one is going to last,” she said of the second.

Poll worker Nancy Sperling directed voters by last name. She said operations had gone smoothly, minus a handful of voters who had moved but had not updated their address on their IDs.

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Reach Jessica Holdman at 701-250-8261 or jessica.holdman@bismarcktribune.com

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