The state is trying to make voting easier than ever this year for those with access to a computer.
At www.sosgeorgia.gov/mvp, Georgia residents can register to vote, find poll locations, see sample ballots, request absentee ballots and more.
Some interesting voter facts:
- There are about 20,000 registered voters in Bryan County, a number that seems high given the county’s estimated 2009 population of roughly 33,000. Miller said the high number may be due to the 2008 presidential election.
- Precinct 8 has moved from St. Elizabeth’s to the Bryan County Administrative Complex.
- Bryan County Voter Register Warren Miller estimates that around 90 absentee ballots have been mailed out to military servicemembers serving around the world.
But election officials expect that to change as the campaign season heats up and the July 20 primary election draws nearer.
“Right now it’s extremely slow,” said Sam Davis, Bryan County’s probate judge and elections superintendent. “It always is at first. It’ll get a lot heaver as we get closer to July.”
Bryan County Voter Registrar Warren Miller echoed that sentiment, and there are a handful of reasons why officials expect turnout to pick up.
- There are a number of local posts up for grabs -- including seats on the school board and county commission -- and, barring a last minute write in or qualifier, all of them will be decided on July 20 because every candidate is Republican.
- A referendum on whether to allow county restaurants to sell liquor by the drink on Sundays will be on the ballot.
- There are a lot of state offices up for grabs, including the biggest seats of all as Georgians choose the Democrat and Republican they want to vie for governor and lieutenant governor in the November general election.
- Early voting in more populated South Bryan begins June 21 at the County Administrative Complex. Sheer numbers alone should lead to heavier turnout.
There’s another reason, as well. People tend to procrastinate.
And with more than a month to go before the primary, officials say many may take the time to study candidates more closely.
But time is running out for those not registered to vote. The deadline to sign up is June 21 -- mailed applications “must be postmarked by the 21st” Miller said -- and applications are available at a number of locations during business hours. Among them are the Voter Registration Office at the courthouse and Pembroke City Hall in North Bryan and the new County Administrative Complex and Richmond Hill City Hall in South Bryan. Both the Richmond Hill and Pembroke public libraries also have the applications available, and you can register online at www.sosgeorgia.gov.
Both Miller and Davis urged Bryan residents to check out the website, which includes sample ballots for local and state races.
“It’s really very convenient if folks take advantage of it,” Davis said. “It might save them a lot of time and aggravation.”
That’s part of the idea behind early voting as well.
“It’s a lot more convenient for voters, especially in some of the bigger precincts down in South Bryan,” Davis said. “There on election day you could have a wait anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour. We hope not, of course, but early voting is just a way to make the process easier and more convenient for voters. There’s no crowds, no lines, no hassle. The opportunity is out there, folks just need to seize it.”