Early voting for the July 31 primary election began Monday in Bryan County with a light turnout on both ends of the county, according to Elections Superintendent Sam Davis
But things will likely pick up in the coming weeks, he said.
“Usually the first few days of early voting is notoriously slow anyway, and as we get closer to Election Day, it’ll pick up drastically,” Davis said.
Early voting continues from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday until July 27 at the Bryan County Courthouse in Pembroke or at the County Administrative Complex in Richmond Hill. Both locations will also be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 21.
With less than 50 voters turning out Monday in just Richmond Hill, Davis is encouraging residents to take advantage of early voting.
“It’s going to be chaotic on Election Day with the new district lines that were drawn and the new precinct lines that were drawn forcing people to go to different precincts to vote,” Davis said. “I really encourage our voters to come out early to avoid that crunch.”
Though all the lines were shifted for the 10 precincts in Bryan County, that doesn’t mean that all voters are going to different precincts, Davis said. Voters should have received a new voter registration card indicating where their new precincts are, Davis said.
Davis also expects a high turnout for Election Day because of the constitutional races on the ballot, which is another reason to take advantage of early voting, he said.
“On Election Day, traditionally when we have constitutional officers on the ballot — this year we have the sheriff, clerk of courts and tax commissioner, plus the opposition in the county commissioner races — that usually brings a high turnout,” he said.
On the Republican ballot for the July 31 primary are four contested local races, including the sheriff, tax commissioner, clerk of superior court and District 3 county commission. Uncontested local races on the Republican ballot include probate judge, coroner, state court solicitor, state court judge, county commission chairman and county commission District 1, as well as the vice chair and district 2 and 3 seats on the Board of Education.
The only contested race on the Democratic ballot is the 1st congressional district seat in the U.S. House. The Democratic ballot also includes the uncontested nomination for the District 1 seat on the county commission.
Davis said there are also some amendments and questions on the ballot, but he encouraged voters to familiarize themselves with ballots before voting.
“In order to save time once they get to the voting machine, if they simply go online at www.sos.ga.gov and click on the ‘My Voter Page’ and put in their name and address, they can pull up their ballot and read it ahead of time,” he said. “It also tells them where to vote if they want to vote on Election Day.”
Voters will also see the regionwide transportation special purpose local option sales tax referendum on their ballot as well. If voters approve this in the 10-county Coastal Region of Georgia, a new 1-cent sales tax will be added to cover costs for various infrastructure improvements, including nine projects in Bryan County.
To vote, Davis said residents will need a picture ID, such as a driver’s license.
For more information, visit www.sos.ga.gov or call the Voter Registration Office at 653-3859.