An election viewed by many as long, decisive and negative will come to an end in Jackson County at 6 p.m. Tuesday when the polls close.

Despite all of that, many county residents, including Melanie Leland of Seymour, have taken the time to vote at absentee polling sites in Brownstown and Seymour. Thousands more are expected to vote on Election Day.

“I think it’s always important for people to vote,” Leland said. “It’s a way to have our voices heard. Our representatives haven’t been listening very well, but if we don’t try to make the change, things will never change.”

As of 11 a.m. Friday, Leland was among 3,805 registered voters in the county who had voted early. That total included 3,030 who had visited one of the two polling sites, 627 who had voted by mail, 134 who had voted through the traveling board and 14 by email.

The number of people voting absentee for Tuesday’s general election surpasses the 3,307 who did so four years ago and the 3,111 who voted early in 2008.

Absentee balloting in person ends Monday at the polling sites at the Jackson County Courthouse in Brownstown and Jackson Superior Court I in Seymour. Those sites are open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. today and from 8 a.m. until noon Monday. Absentee ballots will be counted if they reach the courthouse in Brownstown by noon on Election Day.

Read the full story in Saturday’s Tribune and online at tribtown.com.