Early voting for the Nov. 6 midterm elections began Monday, and turnout is already high — the Hall County Government Center has been seeing more than double the amount of voters that showed up for the first days of early voting in 2014, the last midterm elections.
On Monday, the first day of early voting, 1,216 people voted early, according to Terenda Sargent, registration coordinator with Hall’s elections office. In 2014, on the first day of early voting that year, only 448 people voted. For the first three days of early voting this week, a total of 3,642 people voted in person at the government center, the only polling place open this week.
But for the first three days of early voting in 2014, 1,594 people voted.
Sargent said in an email that Hall has 120,848 registered voters who would be eligible to vote in these midterms. About 3 percent of voters had already gone to the polls by Wednesday evening.
And that does not include absentee ballots — as of Wednesday, 841 had been returned, and 2,883 had been mailed, according to Sargent.
Sargent said the average wait time for voters this week has been about an hour.
People seem to like the convenience of early voting, Tom Smiley, the chairman of the county’s elections board, said.
“They are trying to go ahead and get their vote cast early so they don’t have to wait in what they perceive might be longer lines on voting day,” he said.
Voters appear to be invested in the race and want to make sure they can cast their ballot, Smiley said.
“I think a lot of people are realizing that this midterm election, there’s a lot of passion about it from people, and I think they’re really passionate about casting their vote and making sure they get it done,” Smiley said.
Smiley said elections staff are expecting large turnout on election day as well and have been putting in the hours to prepare.
Voters in Hall will see several races and referendums on the ballot
https://www.gainesvilletimes.com/news/whats-on-the-ballot-nov-6-2018/, including contests for governor, the U.S. House of Representatives District 9, Georgia House of Representatives Districts 29 and 30, and several local races.
When: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday through Nov. 2
Where: Hall County Government Center, 2875 Browns Bridge Road, Gainesville
Saturday early voting
When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 27
Where: Hall County Government Center; East Hall Community Center, 3911 P Davidson Road, Gainesville; North Hall Community Center, 4175 Nopone Road, Gainesville; Spout Springs library, 6488 Spout Springs Road, Flowery Branch