RICHMOND COUNTY, Ga. (WJBF)– Thursday Richmond County Board of Elections early processed nearly 1,300 absentee ballots.

“The reason is just to expedite getting the results election night,” Richmond County Board of Elections Director, Travis Doss said.

Early processing takes place up to three weeks before election day. This is the second year it has been law.

“It’s extremely beneficial. Prior to the law, we could not start processing the absentee ballots until after 7 am on election morning. A lot of times, we would be processing the absentee ballots from 7 am up until 9 and 10 o’clock at night,” Doss said.

In 2020, Richmond County received over 30,000 mail in votes. Doss says it took around five days to tally them all. But with early processing, results come out much faster on election day. However, during this process, volunteers are not counting the votes.

“By giving us an opportunity to do it early, we can go ahead and get them scanned in and have them ready to go. By election night, all we have to do is basically hit tabulate and then the results are ready to publish,” Doss said.

Advance voting numbers are double what they were in 2018 and 2020.

“A record turnout as far as advanced voting. Now whether that will equate to election day, it’s hard to say,” Doss said.

Friday is the last day of advance voting, and the primary is Tuesday.