With their first opportunity to cast a ballot in person Monday, Columbia County voters flocked to the polls for this year’s general election early voting.
The first person lined up just after 7 a.m. outside the Board of Elections office in Evans, and by 7:40 a.m. “the line was well-formed,” said Columbia County Registration Coordinator Nancy Gay.
By early afternoon, more than 600 people had voted early, Gay said, all of it “smoothly and quickly.”
A similar turnout was reported in Richmond County, elections officials said.
Early voting is available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays for the next three weeks at the office, in Building E of the government complex in Evans, through Nov. 2. In addition, voters can visit Patriots Park and Stevens Creek Community Church on Oct. 27 for Saturday voting, and all three locations will be open Oct. 29 through Nov. 2 for advance voting. All precincts will be open on election day, Nov. 6, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The presidential election is at the top of this year’s ballot, along with state Public Service Commission and congressional races.
No Democrats filed for the partisan races in Columbia County this year, so the only contested local race is district attorney, a post that spans three counties.
Voters also will voice their opinion on two state constitutional amendments and decide a local question that could impose term limits on county commissioners.
Because of the interest in this year’s election and the strong turnout it could generate, Gay urged voters to confirm their registration in advance, especially if they registered by mail.
“I would just encourage voters to be prepared by confirming their registration and viewing a sample ballot prior to coming to vote – and be patient if there are any lines,” she said.
Voters can go to the Board of Elections page via the county’s Web site, www.columbiacountyga.gov, toconfirm their registration information and print a sample ballot specifically for their voting precinct.
The precinct is listed on each voter’s card sent out earlier this year – but that card is for information purposes only. Gay said it isn’t needed for voting. Instead, voters must bring a government-issued picture ID with them to cast a ballot.
For information, call the Board of Elections office at (706) 868-3355.