Elections directors expect steady turnout for early voting Saturday

Elections directors expect steady turnout for early voting Saturday

More DeKalb County residents voted in the first three days of the county's early-voting period for the upcoming primary election than they did in the entire early-voting period in 2008.

"T-SPLOST, of course, is bringing people out," election director Maxine Daniels said, and some election officials in other places agreed.

Though other counties in the region haven't seen a turnout like DeKalb's, election directors say they anticipate a steady turnout Saturday. It will be the only Saturday people can vote before Election Day, July 31. Early voting started July 9 and ends July 27.

Clayton County election director Annie Bright said the county expects turnout Saturday to increase because all of the advance-voting polling stations will be open.

Rockdale County tried to "put the message out" that any resident can vote Saturday, election supervisor Cynthia Welch said, but she doesn't know if voters will take advantage of the weekend day. "It could just be that Saturday is their busy time, where they take care of all their other business," she said.

Turnout so far varies among counties. Douglas County elections supervisor Laurie Fulton said last week's turnout, averaging around 180 voters a day, was "slightly above" the same period in July 2008.

Cherokee County election supervisor Janet Munda said a steady number of voters, about 250 on average, has been coming in each day. Comparisons with past elections can be difficult to gauge because a law passed last year shortened the in-person early-voting period from 45 to 21 days. But she said turnout has been higher than in past elections, and T-SPLOST is a reason.

Joan Carey of Alpharetta voted Thursday at the North Fulton Annex in Sandy Springs because she'll be out of town July 31, she said. She especially cares about T-SPLOST, which she voted for. Most people she has spoken with "really don't want it," but she hopes the transportation sales-tax referendum passes anyway. "People aren't good about voting," she said.

In Fayette County, election supervisor Tom Sawyer said the turnout for early voting, also called "in-person absentee" voting, had been slow, but he didn't know what to expect Saturday.

"I keep thinking that people are more inclined to vote early, but I see no pattern," Sawyer said.

Voting information, including locations and hours, and sample ballots can be found on the Secretary of State's My Voter Page (MVP).

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