Richmond and Columbia Counties seeing huge early voting numbers


Whether it’s a seasoned voter heading to the polls.

“I’ve always voted since I was a youngster…a long time ago,” said Voter Clint Horton.

Or if it’s someone putting on the “Georgia Voter” sticker for the first time.

“We are probably averaging probably 20-30 a day. We cheer and clap for them when they come in and we’ve been doing a lot of clapping,” said Columbia County Board of Elections Director Nancy Gay.

People are showing up in droves to exercise their constitutional right.

In Columbia County, more than 19,000 people have voted early.

“That did beat four years ago. We obviously had a little less turnout that year,” said Gay.

The numbers are just as good in Richmond County.

“In fact, we are voting right now and actually from the beginning, around 80 percent-the number we’d see in a presidential election. That’s a huge number,” said Richmond County Board of Elections Director Lynn Bailey.

So, why the large turnout?

“There’s a lot of interest in the governor’s race. The state-wide races on the ballot, every one is contested,” said Bailey.

There are also key referendums on the ballot for each county.

For example, both counties are asking voters if they’d like restaurants to start selling alcohol at 11am on Sundays.

Some voters we spoke with have their own opinion on what’s driving voters to the polls.

“It seems to be a bit more divisive this year than in times past. I think the political atmosphere overall in our country is divisive. I pray that it will change,” said Horton.

“A lot of young people, their voices need to be heard, definitely in this day and age,” said Voter Alexis Brueiloy.

Early voting ends Friday with Election Day next Tuesday.

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