It looks like those voting early to beat the lines are keeping election officials busy.
Elections Superintendent Sam Davis said turnout is "by far" the strongest he has seen in his eight years in office. More than 1,200 Bryan County residents had cast their vote through Tuesday– 714 in Richmond Hill and 500 in Pembroke.
"And that’s not counting the mail out ballots," Davis said. "We’ve sent out about 800 or so of them."
Early voting started in Richmond Hill on Monday. It began at the courthouse in Pembroke on Sept. 22.
Davis said voters have lined up to vote at the courthouse annex in Richmond Hill since it opened. Monday alone saw over 400 residents.
"This is a historic election, and it looks like everyone wants to be part of it," Davis said. "We’re looking at having either the first African American president or the first female vice president."
Other ballot items include Congressman Jack Kingston versus Bill Gillespie, U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss versus Jim Martin and constitutional amendments to preserve Georgia’s forests and to authorize school districts to use tax money for community redevelopment. Pembroke residents can also decide if they want Republican incumbent Ed Bacon or newcomer Joe Kendrick to be their Bryan County Commission representative.
Bryan County Registrar Warren Miller said this election has caused a huge surge in the number of residents registering as well. He said there were 19,000 registered voters prior to this election, but that number is up significantly.
"We’ve been too busy processing everyone to get a count, so we don’t have an exact number yet," Miller said.
Turnout in Bryan County is predicted at between 80 and 85 percent, and Elections Superintendent Sam Davis expects many residents will vote early in order to avoid waiting in line in November.
Election Day is Nov. 4, but Bryan County residents can take advantage of early voting now through Oct. 31, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., at either the Richmond Hill Courthouse Annex or the Registrar’s office inside the Bryan County Courthouse in Pembroke. For more information, call 653-3856.