Today is the last day polls will be open for advance voting in Georgia. Richmond County Elections Director Lynn Bailey expects almost 4,000 more voters to cast a ballot at the three polling locations open for advance voting.
Through Thursday, 26,481 voters had taken advantage of the early voting window, which is about the same number as in the last presidential election, Bailey said.
“I’m seeing every bit of interest in this election as in 2008,” she said.
Although she is seeing about the same number of voters – averaging about 3,200 each day this week – Bailey said the lines at the polls are much shorter than in 2008. She said it is probably because there are fewer elections and other items on the ballot this year.
Still, voters can expect a wait Friday at the polls.
“No one should expect to get in and out in less than 20 to 40 minutes,” she said.
Voters can check the Board of Elections web site – at www.augustaga.gov – to get an estimate of wait times, she said. There will be no voting on Monday, she said.
Friday also is the last day to pick up an absentee ballot, if you should need one, Bailey said. Those ballots have to be turned in by Tuesday, she said.
“As long as you have it turned in by the times the polls close on Election Day you will be all right,” she said.
So far, about 7,500 people have requested absentee ballots, which also is comparable with 2008, she said.
Bailey estimates that if the voting trend continues Friday and Tuesday, total turnout will be between 70 and 80 percent of the 109,000 registered voters in Richmond County.
In 2008, that figure was about 75 percent, a good portion of which can be attributed to advance voting, she said.
“In 2008, we had a 40 percent turnout before the first person cast a ballot on Tuesday,” she said. “We are expecting to see about the same amount this year.”