Early voting sees increase from 2018
According to the Georgia Secretary of State's office, early voting for the primaries is up 217% from this time in 2018.
MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) — According to the Georgia Secretary of State’s office, early voting for the primaries is up 217% from this time in 2018.
It’s no different for some Middle Georgia counties that have nearly met or exceeded early voting numbers from four years ago.
“In 2018, what we need to compare this to the midterms, we had 4,600 people vote total in early voting, and so far we’ve had 4,500,” said Mike Kaplan, Board Chair for Macon-Bibb County Board of Elections.
Kaplan says if they have an average day each day until early voting ends, they’ll most likely exceed 2018’s numbers by about 1,000 votes. He says there are several reasons for the increase.
“We have more registered voters than we did in 2018, anywhere from 8,000 to 10000 more registered voters,” he said. “And now we had two Saturdays which were mandatory by the new law as opposed to one last time, and we have one Sunday, as we had last time.”
Houston County is also seeing an increase in voters. According to Elections Assistant Andy Holland, 1,000 people voted early in 2018. Four years later, nearly 8,000 people have already visited the polls.
“There’s just more interest in elections going on right now,” Holland said. “Especially since 2020 where we had the heavy turnout, and some of that is carrying over. People are maintaining their interest into the governor’s year.”
Holland says even with the increase, precincts aren’t that busy and people are able to vote quickly.
He says to be sure to verify you’re registered to vote before heading to the precinct and take time to look at a sample ballot.
“It’s on the state’s website. It’s on our website,” he said. “We have copies available at all of our early voting locations as well. It is a long ballot, so read through it and familiarize yourself with it before you come to the precinct. It will make your experience a little quicker.”
If you want to vote early, you do have until Friday to do so. Election Day is Tuesday, May 24.
Some districts have changed due to the census and redistricting, so be sure to double check your voter information before voting. You can do that on the Georgia Secretary of State’s My Voter page.