Early voting in Oconee County continues at a pace ahead of voting for the presidential primary on March 1, with 985 voters casting a ballot by the end of the day yesterday, compared with 518 after two weeks of voting for the March primary.
As of the end of the day on Tuesday, Oconee County early voting was considerably higher than the figures for the state as a whole and higher than in many of the surrounding counties.
The Office of the Board of Elections and Registration is open until 4 p.m. today for continuation of early voting. Voting will be held at that office, 10 Court Street, opposite the Courthouse, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday of this week.
The county is not holding early voting at the Civic Center for the May 24 election.
As of the end of the day on Tuesday, 112,138 voters in Georgia had cast a ballot as part of the state’s early voting process. That represents just 2.3 percent of the states 4,892,887 registered voters.
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In Oconee County at that point, 689 persons had voted, according to statewide figures provided me by Pat Hayes, chair of the Oconee County Board of Elections and Registration.
The Oconee County vote represented 3.1 percent of the county’s 22,187 registered voters.
The Oconee County percentage was higher than in any of the more populous county’s surrounding Oconee. The figures were: Walton (2.6 percent), Barrow (2.3 percent), Jackson (1.6 percent), and Clarke (0.9 percent).
Early turnout percentages were higher in the less populous counties of Greene (6.4 percent), Oglethorpe (6.3 percent), Madison (5.0 percent), and Morgan (3.6 percent).
The 985 votes cast in early balloting is 4.4 percent of the county’s registered voters.
After two weeks of early voting for the March 1 presidential primary, 2.4 percent of the registered voters had cast a ballot. Final turnout for the March 1 primary in the county was 53.7 percent.
The 83.3 percent increase in early voting over March isn’t likely to be sustained into the May 24 election, particularly since no voting will be held this coming week at the Civic Center. Voting took place at the Civic Center in the final week of early voting before the March 1 primary.
The early voting rate does suggest a high level of interest in the local elections, which will determine the composition of the Board of Commissioners, the Sheriff, the leadership of the Board of Education, the Coroner, and the state Senator from the 46th District.
All of these contests are on the Republican ballot, and voters can ask for a Democratic ballot, a Republican ballot, or a nonpartison ballot today, this week or on May 24 election day.