About 4.4 percent, or 4,465 of Richmond County’s registered voters cast advance votes last week for Tuesday’s runoffs in the Democratic primary for sheriff and Republican primary for the 12th Congressional District.
Democratic voters outnumbered Republicans nearly 10 to 1, with 4,031 weighing in on the sheriff’s race and 434 voting in the GOP runoff, according to data provided by Richmond County Board of Elections Executive Director Lynn Bailey.
The week of advance voting saw the heaviest turnout at the board’s office, where 1,635 voted early, all but 141 of them in the sheriff’s runoff between Scott Peebles and Richard Roundtree.
At Warren Road Community Center in west Augusta, typically a Republican-leaning polling place, 1,469 cast advance ballots, 1,202 of them in the Democratic runoff.
At the third advance voting location, Henry Brigham Center in south Augusta, 1,361 cast early votes, 26 of them in the GOP runoff between Rep. Lee Anderson and Rick Allen.
By comparison, 6,537 of Augusta’s 101,000 registered voters voted ahead of the July 31 primary. That election had three weeks of advance voting, compared with five business days for the runoffs.
Advance voting was lower for Super Tuesday, when 2,090 cast early ballots, and higher in last year’s general election, when 10,846 voted before election day.
While the elections office accepts votes early, it does not count them until polls close Tuesday.
Friday marked the end of advance voting. Regular voting at all Richmond County polling places begins at 7 a.m. Tuesday.
Voters can’t switch partisan ballots between the primary and runoff, but those who voted nonpartisan or didn’t vote July 31 can vote in either runoff.