As the polls get set to open across Georgia for the presidential preference primary, Bryan County and the rest of the state can expect to see more voters than before — if the number of registered voters is an accurate indicator.
Bryan County Election Supervisor Cindy Reynolds said Wednesday that the county currently has 24,067 registered voters, which she said is the highest number she has seen in her eight years in that position.
That’s in line with the rest of the state, which Secretary of State Brian Kemp said saw a record 54,385 Georgians register to vote or updated their registration status online over the last seven days leading up to the registration deadline Monday for the presidential primary.
“These numbers are unprecedented on (online voter registration) and show that Georgians are excited about the SEC Primary,” Kemp said, referring to the March 1 presidential primary. “Georgians deserve this opportunity to have their voices heard on the issues affecting the needs of our state.”
The March 1 primary is commonly referred to as the SEC Primary because several states with Southeastern Conference universities — Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee and Texas — along with several other non-SEC states will hold their presidential primary elections that day.
Last year, Kemp launched the online voter registration website at www.mvp.sos.ga.gov and encouraged high school students and first-time voters to register through the platform. Over the last seven days leading up to the Feb. 1 deadline for the presidential primary, 37,903 Georgians used the OLVR to register to vote for the first time, he said.
By the final hours Monday, one new or updated voter registration was completed every 3 seconds on the site.
“It was always my hope that this easier and more convenient form of voter registration would increase in popularity so voters and counties could register more quickly than with a paper application. It is safe to say that day has come,” Kemp said.
Advance voting begins Monday, Feb. 8, and runs weekdays through Feb. 26, with Saturday voting on Feb. 20.
During advance voting, Bryan County residents may cast their ballots from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays in the commissioners’ meeting room at either the Bryan County Administrative Building, 66 Capt. Matthew Freeman Drive in Richmond Hill, or the Bryan County Courthouse, 42 N. Courthouse St. in Pembroke, Bryan County Board of Elections Chairman Andrew S. Johnson said in an email to the News. Early voting will also take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 20, at both locations.
Voters are reminded to verify their polling locations for Election Day, March 1, as they might have changed since the last election. Also, where people vote for their city election or for early voting is not necessarily where they will vote on Election Day. To find the correct precinct, go to mvp.sos.ga.gov or call the elections and registration office at 912-653-3859.
Anyone wishing to cast a vote must be a registered voter in Bryan County and must present valid photo identification.