Early voting got off to a strong start in Walton and Gwinnett Counties and finished even stronger, at least in Walton County.
According to election officials in Walton County, by early Friday morning, 13,000 people had voted early and 1,000 mail-in ballots had been received. But Friday looked set to bring in many more early voters than the opening days, according to election officials. And they were not wrong. By the close of business Friday, more than an additional 1,200 people had cast ballots and there was a two hour waiting time for those who had managed to get into the courthouse before the doors closed. That compares to a total of just 6,432 early voters in the 2014 mid-term elections with 1,214 ballots mailed out and 1,068 received. It actually compares more to the 2016 Presidential Elections in which 18,189 people voting early and 2059 mail-in ballots being sent out with 1,757 received back.
In Gwinnett County, officials also report a strong turnout for the first day of early voting. Joe Sorenson, communications director for Gwinnett County, said 2,471 votes were cast on the first day compared to 1,490 on the first day of advanced voting in the 2016 presidential election.
“We had a significant increase in voter registrations leading up to the deadline,” Sorenson said. He did not have the numbers available for the first day of advanced voting in the 2014 midterms. Figures were not obtained from Gwinnett County by close of early voting Friday,
There is no way, however, to tell just how many of those early voters are voting Republican and how many are voting Democrat. Jenni Phipps, director of elections for Walton County, also said there have been a good many new voters register in recent months, but there again it is difficult to predict which party those new voters are supporting. Both parties are working very hard to get out the vote, with the governor’s race bringing in the heavy hitters. Oprah Winfrey and Obama stumped for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacy Abrams, who made a stop last week in Walton County. President Donald Trump is due in Macon Sunday to help make the case for Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp, who made his own stop in Walton County earlier in the week.
If you didn’t vote early, you still have Election Day, Nov. 6, to cast your ballot at your regular precinct. Click or tap on this link to find out where your voting precinct is located.
Click or tap on this link for a sample ballot on what you will find when you go to cast your ballot. As well as the national, state and county posts on the ballot, there also are constitutional amendments and statewide referenda as well as a Walton County School Board posts and a 1 percent Walton County Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax to consider. The sample ballot lists the special projects to be funded in Walton County should the SPLOST be approved.
If you didn’t early vote in Gwinnett, you can view a sample ballot by giving your address at the voter page that can be found at this link. It also will give you your voting precinct.