Few Augusta voters cast ballots Saturday in presidential primary

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Saturday marked the first time Augustans could vote on a weekend, but the turnout was not as high as election officials would have liked.

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Voters cast their ballots in the presidential primary at the Board of Elections office. Three locations were open for advance voting Saturday.  SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
Voters cast their ballots in the presidential primary at the Board of Elections office. Three locations were open for advance voting Saturday.

“I think it was a very light turn out,” said Lynn Bailey, the county Board of Elections executive director. “But it was the first time we had voting on a Saturday.”

Almost to closing time, which was 4 p.m., fewer than 175 people had voted in person Saturday during advance voting in the March 6 Presidential Preference Primary and Special Election – 22 at the Board of Elections’ main office, 85 at the Warren Road Recreation Center and 66 the Henry Brigham Recreation Center.

“Typically we don’t see as many voters for the primary,” she said. “In November, we will be swamped.”

At the Warren Road Recreation Center, Kellie McIntyre stopped by to vote while she was out shopping.

“It is more convenient,” she said about being able to vote Saturday. “But I would have gotten here either way.”

Theresia Hess, who was in charge of the polls at the center, said she had a steady flow all day.

“People have come in today for all kinds of reasons,” she said. “Some because they aren’t working or something else.”

The center has a loyal voter-base, the 10-year veteran said, which she thinks helped bring people out Saturday.

This year, early voting was reduced from 45 to 21 days, which was part of the reason Saturday voting was available. The voters Saturday add to the 400 in-person voters and 682 requested ballots by mail reported Friday evening. Advance voting began Feb. 20 and continues Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the three locations.

The Board of Elections had hoped opening the three offices Saturday would help voters who might not get to the polls otherwise, Baily said.

“We wanted to add a convenience factor that wasn’t there before,” Bailey said.

During the day, she said they had seen college students to senior citizens.

Bailey thought the voters might not know about Saturday voting yet, which could have added to the light turnout. Moving forward, the Board of Elections plans on being open on the second Saturday for all upcoming elections.

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dstewartsr
20393
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dstewartsr 02/25/12 - 08:33 pm
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Don't vote until we have

Don't vote until we have candidates!

gaflyboy
5366
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gaflyboy 02/26/12 - 07:16 am
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That's right! Let someone

That's right! Let someone else vote for who that candidate will be. Then we can 'really' complain about it!

JRC2024
10607
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JRC2024 02/26/12 - 10:47 am
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Did not know about sat.

Did not know about sat.

allhans
24988
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allhans 02/26/12 - 12:55 pm
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I will vote on March 6. Not

I will vote on March 6. Not before. Who knows what will happen before then.

Little Lamb
49343
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Little Lamb 02/27/12 - 08:27 am
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I voted Saturday at Warren

I voted Saturday at Warren Road. There were five pollworkers there. Let's see, 175 voters at three voting centers; that's about 58 voters per center. Now, 58 voters served by five pollworkers; that averages to 12 voters per pollworker. Next year, they could just send the pollworkers in city-owned vehicles around to each of our houses and pick up our ballots and save us voters a trip to the polls.

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