Long lines did not deter voters during early voting Saturday.
Voters lined the sidewalk at the Augusta Municipal Building on Greene Street and at the Warren Road Community Center by midmorning. Wait times were estimated to be about 30 minutes at both places, poll managers said.
The line snaked through hallways and around the interior of the Henry Brigham Community Center on Golden Camp Road, where poll manager Betty Griffin estimated wait times of at least an hour.
Lynn Bailey, the executive director of the Richmond County Board of Elections, said she expected at least 45,000 people to have voted at the three locations by the end of the day.
By the end of Friday, more than 10,000 people had voted in Richmond County in the past two weeks, she said.
“I would say early voting is definitely a convenience this time. Georgia voters are taking advantage of it. We’ve seen high numbers across the state, certainly in Richmond County,” she said.
Though the lines were long, Bailey said the voters she has spoken with have been in very good spirits.
No problems were reported at any of the locations.
At Warren Road, poll manager Theresia Hess said many voters this year are bringing in a “cheat sheet” to help them cast their ballots more quickly.
“They know what they’re coming in here to vote for, and they’re getting out pretty fast,” she said. “Usually that’s what slows them down – they’re not really sure what they want to vote for or, if we have a ton of amendments or something like that. But pretty much everybody has something they’re hiding in their hand.”
Gail Bennet cast her ballot on Tuesday but came to Warren Road Community Center with her daughter Brinkley Bennet, 21, who was voting for the first time.
At about 11:30 a.m., despite the long line just outside the door, she said they only had to wait 10 minutes.
At the Brigham Center, Nile Turner and Pearl Maxwell waited more than two hours before they left without voting. They were not at all upset about the wait, but said they had somewhere else to go and would come back later to vote.
“If we didn’t have something else to do or this was the only day to vote, we’d have stayed in line. No doubt about it,” Turner said.
At the municipal building, several people standing in line on the sidewalk said they had just come from the Brigham Center because they didn’t want to wait in the long line there. The Rev. Beotis Clark and his wife, Estella, were among them.
Clark said he had the opportunity to vote earlier this week but that he and his wife wanted to vote together.
“My wife wanted to go as a team, so we decided to go out today,” he said.
Early voting in Richmond County continues at the same locations from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, call (706) 821-2340 or go to augustaga.gov/boe, where voters can check on wait times by clicking on “Board of Elections Technology” and then the link for “Voter Wait Time Application.”
Voters in Columbia County can cast ballots from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at the board of elections office, 500 Faircloth Drive, Building E; Stevens Creek Community Church, 600 Stevens Creek Road; or Patriots Park, 5445 Columbia Road. For more information, call (706) 868-3355 or visit columbiacountyga.gov.
Early voting ends Friday.