Lines got longer - and some tempers may have gotten a little shorter - as the deadline for early voting approached Friday.
There was an hour-long wait in Richmond Hill at the courthouse annex. Things were worse in Pembroke, according to some.North Bryan residents B.J. and Jennifer Parker said when they first got to the polls Friday, they were told wait would be hour and a half, "but after 45 minutes, we’ve only moved 25 feet."
Bryan County Elections Superintendent Sam Davis said the waiting time in Richmond Hill was cut from two hours when a polling machine was moved from North to South Bryan on Thursday to help handle the number of voters.
Bryan County Registrar Warren Miller said it had been slow in North Bryan earlier in the week, but the numbers picked up considerably Thursday, after the machine was moved. Some 75 people each waited about two and a half hours to vote in Pembroke Friday afternoon.
In all, more than 6,000 Bryan County voters had already cast their ballots, officials said Friday.
"And that’s not counting the mail out ballots," Davis said.
The election is Tuesday.
Davis said early voting turnout is "by far" the strongest he has seen in his eight years in office. He attributes it to the Presidential race and "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.
Over in Candler County, Pembroke businessman K.K. Ausbon is attempting to unseat 28-year incumbent Homer Bell for sheriff. Interest in this case elevated when Ausbon was arrested in Bryan County in August for allegedly misusing company funds at Mega Cast, a Pembroke company he previously owned.
Miller said the 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, according to Davis.
Polls will be open on Nov. 4 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. To find out where your designated polling location is for Tuesday, go to www.sos.state.ga.us or click the voting link on www.bryancountyga.org.
Precincts and Polling Places:
Precinct 1: Pembroke West
American Legion, 1040 Hwy 280 West
Precinct 2: Pembroke East
City Hall, 160 N Main St
Precinct 3: Ellabell
Hendrix Park Gym
4060 Wilma Edwards Rd
Precinct 4: Blitchton Fire Station, 4747 U.S. Hwy. 80
Richmond Hill precincts:
Precinct 5: Ways Station, First Baptist Church
9150 Ford Avenue
Precinct 6: Daniel Siding
Fire Station, 95 Daniel Siding Loop Road
Precinct 7: RH Recreation Complex, 508 Timber Trail
Precinct 8: Hwy. 144. East, St. Elizabeth’s Episcopal Church, 16491 Hwy. 144
Precinct 9: Hwy 144, Corinth Baptist Church, 19536 Hwy. 144
Precinct 10: J.F. Gregory Park, John W. Stevens Wetlands Education Center
600 Cedar St.