Morning turnout appears light as Augustans head to polls today

Rainier Ehrhardt
Robert Taylor casts a vote at Julian Smith Casino.

So far, a prediction of 15 percent turnout for today’s Augusta Commission and Richmond County school board elections seems to be panning out, Board of Elections Executive Director Lynn Bailey said.

If the total doesn’t top the 16 percent reached in 1999, today’s election will have the lowest turnout for any Augusta Commission race since city-county consolidation in 1996.

As of 3 p.m., Mrs. Bailey said, only 170 out of 2,565 registered voters – 7 percent – had cast ballots at precinct 104 at Eastview Recreation Center, part of District 1 where four candidates are vying to replace Commissioner Betty Beard.

At precinct 102 at Crawford Avenue Baptist Church, also in District 1, only 77 voters have shown up – 8 percent of registered voters.

Some precincts, though, have already met or exceeded expectations.

Her 3 p.m. report had 370 people – 15 percent – casting ballots at districts 106 and 107 at Julian Smith Casino. Precinct 307 at Woodlawn United Methodist Church, part of District 3 where two candidates are challenging incumbent Joe Bowles, has had 239 people vote, which is 16 percent.

In the end, Mrs. Bailey expects the total numbers to balance out to around 15 percent.

“That’s kind of what I’m thinking,” she said. “Right now, it’s too early to tell.”

Odd-numbered commission seats are up this year, with contested elections in Districts 1, 3 and 5. There is also a special election in District 5 to replace Richmond County Board of Education trustee Joe Scott, who died in July.

Three members of the Hephzibah City Commission and mayor and two council members for the city of Blythe are also on the ballot. Polls close tonight at 7 p.m.

Mrs. Bailey said she expects to have results tallied by 9:30 p.m.

This morning, she said the biggest issue seemed to be voters who are not sure which polling place they are supposed to vote.

THE POLLING PLACES

DISTRICT 1

101 Asbury United Methodist Church, 1305 Troupe St.

102 Crawford Avenue Baptist Church, 507 Crawford Ave.

103 Dyess Park, 902 James Brown Blvd.

104 Eastview Recreation Center, 644 Aiken St.

105 Second Mount Moriah Church, 1404 Brown St.

106 Julian Smith Casino, 2200 Broad St.

107 Julian Smith Casino, 2200 Broad St.

108 Covenant Presbyterian Church, 3131 Walton Way

109 May Park, 708 Fourth St.

110 Peabody Apartments, 1452 Walton Way

111 Paine College Gilbert-Lambuth Chapel, 1235 Druid Park Ave.

112 St. John's Towers, 724 Greene St.

113 May Park, 708 Fourth St.

DISTRICT 3

301 Covenant Presbyterian Church, 3131 Walton Way

302 Augusta State Athletic Complex, 3109 Marvin Vanover Drive

303 Aquatics Center, 3157 Damascus Road

304 Crossroads Fellowship, 3875 Wrightsboro Road

305 First Baptist Church of Augusta, 3500 Walton Way

306 First Baptist Church of Augusta, 3500 Walton Way

307 Woodlawn United Methodist Church, 2200 Walton Way

308 Augusta State Athletic Complex, 3109 Marvin Vanover Drive

309 Bayvale Baptist Church, 2240 Bayvale Road

310 Crossroads Fellowship, 3875 Wrightsboro Road

DISTRICT 5

* 501 Burns Memorial United Methodist Church, 2372 Lumpkin Road

502 Trinity CME Church, 2930 Glen Hills Drive

503 Henry Brigham Community Center, 2463 Golden Camp Road

504 Aquatics Center, 3157 Damascus Road

505 New Life Worship Center, 3550 Morgan Road

506 Trinity CME Church, 2930 Glenn Hills Drive

507 Minnick Park, 1850 Kissingbower Road

508 Bayvale Baptist Church, 2240 Bayvale Road

509 Bayvale Baptist Church, 2240 Bayvale Road

BLYTHE

801B Blythe Community Center, 294 Church St.

HEPHZIBAH

804H Jesse Carroll Community Center, 4977 Windsor Spring Road

* POLLING CHANGE: Voters in Precinct 501 will find their polling place has been temporarily relocated from First Shiloh Church at 2343 Windsor Spring Road to Burns Memorial United Methodist Church at 2372 Lumpkin Road. A church construction project prompted the change.

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