Georgia’s 2016 early voting pace is up more than 6 percent over 2012

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Georgia’s 2016 early voting pace is up more than 6 percent over 2012

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Steve Schaefer
Cobb County residents file into the Cobb County Civic Center in Marietta for early voting on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016. At least 2,000 people were expected to participate in the early voting there Saturday. STEVE SCHAEFER / SPECIAL TO THE AJC

Early voting totals in Georgia are running about 6 percent ahead of totals from 2012, as Georgia enters its busiest week of early balloting before the Nov. 8 presidential election.

Statewide tallies as of Monday morning have passed the 1.3 million vote mark, according to the latest available numbers from the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office. That’s more than 77,500 votes ahead of the same time four years ago, when residents last voted for president.

Early voting continues through Friday, the state’s deadline for early ballots. Polls will be closed next weekend and Nov. 7. They re-open 7 a.m. through 7 p.m. on Election Day.

Nearly 2 million people voted early in 2012 — about half of them during the final week of early voting. That year, more than 3.9 million voters cast ballots in the general election.

Here are the totals so far, as well as information about how to vote in Georgia:

Statewide early voting turnout

Number of ballots cast: 1,333,167

Number of ballots voted in person: 1,205,088

Number of mail-in ballots returned: 128,079

Number of mail-in ballots outstanding: 96,679

Top 5 counties in Georgia for turnout

Fulton: 168,643

DeKalb: 96,687

Gwinnett: 69,590

Cobb: 61,070

Forsyth: 46,662

How to vote early in Georgia

Any voter registered in Georgia can vote early.

Each of Georgia’s 159 counties has at least one early voting location open, with many especially in metro Atlanta having opened additional sites this week ahead of the state’s early voting deadline Friday.

Local elections offices post early voting sites on their websites. As a bonus, several metro Atlanta counties, including Cobb, Fulton and Gwinnett, also post expected wait times.

Be aware that your regular neighborhood polling place will likely not be open; often, local municipalities only open select sites during the state’s 21-day early voting period.

You can log onto the Secretary of State Office’s online “my voter page” website (www.mvp.sos.ga.gov/MVP/mvp.do) to find a sample ballot or specific early voting location.

You can also call your local elections office to find early voting locations or look for the “advance voting info” link under the elections tab of the Secretary of State Office’s website (www.sos.ga.gov).

Dos and don’ts for voting in Georgia

Don’t forget to bring photo identification, which can include a Georgia driver’s license, even if it’s expired; a state-issued voter identification card; a valid U.S. passport; or a valid U.S. military photo ID.

No “ballot selfies” are allowed at the polls, so wait until you’re outside to snap a photo. It is illegal in Georgia to take pictures of a ballot or voting equipment, but the Secretary of State Office has said it has seen voters in previous elections post “ballot selfies” on social media — something that could get you in trouble with the law.

Information about local elections and your “My Voter Page” can also be found on the free “GA SOS” app for your smartphone via iTunes or Google Play for Android.

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