Heavier than usual numbers for early voting this month have election officials predicting a strong turnout at the polls Tuesday.
Board of Elections Director Lynn Bailey said more than 6,500 Richmond County voters had taken advantage of early voting by Friday and 1,800 more had sent in absentee ballots by mail.
“It is a convenience that more and more voters are glad to have,” Bailey said.
Historically, primary elections have not excited the electorate, Bailey said, but “there appears to be a fair amount of interest in this primary.”
Based on turnout so far, Bailey predicted that between 25 percent and 35 percent of voters would participate in Tuesday’s primary.
Advance voting began July 9 at the Board of Elections office on Greene Street. During the first two weeks, more than 1,500 people cast ballots, with about 84 percent selecting the Democratic ballot, which has four candidates running for sheriff.
On July 21, two more polling places opened for early voting – Warren Road Community Center in west Augusta and the Henry Brigham Community Center in south Augusta. Since then the trend has continued, with about 85 percent of voters selecting the Democratic ballot.