Election officials who are managing their municipalities’ elections also said that turnout for advanced voting has been low, but they hoped to see a slight surge by the end of Friday.
The three-week advanced voting period for mayor, city council and school board races started Oct. 16.
In the city of Duluth — with a population of nearly 32,000 — just 275 people voted early as of Wednesday. City Clerk Teresa Lynn said there are nearly 21,000 registered voters in the city but less than 2,000 traditionally vote in a municipal election.
“It is quite costly on the taxpayers to have three weeks of advanced voting,” she said. “It’s mandated by law that you have to have a poll manager and two assistant poll managers; and now an interpreter for Spanish languages. And you have to have a poll worker watching the absentee box outside.”
In Cobb County, just under 3,800 voters had cast ballots early as of Wednesday. More than 2,000 of those voters were in Smyrna. Clayton County had 3,000 ballots cast by in-person voters as of Thursday.
DeKalb County, where there are county-wide ballot questions, was approaching 14,000 early voters this week.
DeKalb Registration & Elections spokeswoman Sherial Cubit said the county is pleased with voter turnout across 13 locations and expects to see an uptick in voting by Friday and on Election Day.
In Fulton, 16,000 residents have voted ahead of Tuesday’s election.
“Advance voting is showing to be the preferred method of voting among Fulton County voters,” Registration & Elections Director Nadine Williams said in a statement.
A “moderate” turnout is expected on Election Day, she added.
Milton and Palmetto are the only two cities in Fulton managing their own elections. Milton City Manager Steve Krokoff said the same number of residents that vote early is expected in-person on Tuesday. The final early voting number could reach 1,600 or more.
Milton is running its own election for the first time. “Things have been going mostly smoothly,” Krokoff said. “We’re excited. It was a lot of work.”
Palmetto, a city of 5,075, had close to 300 early voters. That’s twice as many as during previous municipal election years, City Clerk Cindy Hanson said.
About 600 more voters could cast their ballots on Tuesday due to the mayoral race, Hanson said.
Two candidates are running to replace longtime Mayor J. Clark Boddie, who is leaving office.