Augusta, Ga (WJBF) – Early voting is now underway. Contested races in both parties’ primaries as well as contested local races are driving the interest.

Tina Bynes, one of the many coming to the Municipal building for the first day of advance voting. 

“Just trying to vote and get it over with come out early and try and beat the crowd, and not wait until the last minute,” Bynes said.   

“Very busy, we started out this morning we had a line of people waiting for us when we opened up at 8:30, it’s been steady ever since,” said Elections Director Travis Doss. 

 Voters have contested races in both party’s primaries, and for Augusta area voters four out of five of the commission races are contested, and then there is the battle royal for mayor where nine candidates are in the running. These races will be helping to drive turn out 

“I do think the mayor’s race is a very important race, we’ve seen a lot of troubles with the mayor’s office the last few years,” said Augusta voter Davis Peltier.

“We have a mayor’s race, with not an incumbent so when you talk about local things like that plus the commission races, they could generate a lot of local interest,” said Doss.

With a large ballot those casting their early votes say it likely it will not be one and done for these elections.

“I figure we’ll be here in two months for a runoff, I’ll be here for the first day of that casting my ballot,” said Peltier. 

One major change for advance voting this year is there is going to be two Saturday voting days the first one this Saturday May 7th.