KINGSLAND, Ga. – Long lines of people eager to cast ballots formed in some parts of Georgia as early in-person voting began Monday. There were problems in the state’s largest early voting site -- 300 voting machines set up at State Farm Arena, where the Atlanta Hawks play -- but no problems were reported at early voting sites in Southeast Georgia.
While Monday’s turnout in Atlanta and other large cities might have been boosted by Columbus Day being a federal holiday, it actually was cited as the reason a few of Georgia’s 159 counties began their three weeks of early voting on Tuesday.
When the first day of in-person voting ended, the state reported that more than 128,000 people had cast ballots -- smashing the previous record of 91,000 was set four years ago.
When Camden County’s early voting site in Kingsland opened at 8 a.m. Tuesday, a dozen people were already in line and the crowd remained steady through noon.
“I was trying to get here early because you never know what’s going to happen in the future and I just want to make sure I get my vote in," Irwin Holloway said.
One voter told News4Jax it took 90 minutes to cast a ballot.
“This doesn’t intimidate me at all. I’m willing to wait five, 10, however many hours it takes to make my voice count," Mattie Pettus said.
There is at least one early voting location in each of the state’s 159 counties. (Scroll down to see the locations in Southeast Georgia.) Early voting will also be available at least one Saturday before election day in every county.
With record turnout expected for this year’s presidential election and fears about exposure to the coronavirus, election officials and advocacy groups have been encouraging people to vote early, either in person or by absentee ballot. Three weeks before the deadline, the Georgia secretary of state’s office said nearly 440,000 absentee ballots had already been returned -- more than the total who voted by mail in any previous election. The state said only 85 ballots of those ballots were rejected so far due to missing signatures or other problems.
On Election Day -- Nov. 3 -- all precincts in the state will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and absentee voting continues through election day, with an Oct. 30 deadline to request a ballot to be able to vote by mail. (Four weeks before the election, 262,000 absentee ballots had already been received.)
During early voting, people don’t go to their regular polling places for early voting. Instead, they can choose to go to their county registrar’s office or any other early voting location established by county election boards.
Southeast Georgia early voting locations
- Board of Elections, 10305 N. Main Street, Nahunta - Weekdays, Oct. 13-30, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., and Oct. 24, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
- Kingsland: Camden County Annex, 107 N. Gross Road - Weekdays, Oct. 13-30, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., and Oct. 24, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
- Woodbine: County Administration Building, 200 East 4th Street - Weekdays, Oct. 13-16, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 17, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 25, 1-6 p.m.
- St. Marys: Three Rivers Church, 101 Miller Street, St. Marys - Monday-Friday, Oct. 26-30, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
- Folkston: Elections Office at County Courthouse, 1520 Third Street - Monday-Friday, Oct. 12-30, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 24, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
- St. George County Building, 13063 Florida Avenue, St. George - Saturday, Oct. 17, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
- Brunswick: Ballard Recreation Complex, 30 Nimitz Drive - Mondays, Oct. 12, 19 and 26, 8 a.m.-7 p.m.; Tuesdays-Fridays, Oct. 13-16, 20-23 and 27-30, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; and Saturday, Oct. 24, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
- Brunswick: Glynn County Board of Elections, 1815 Gloucester Street - Mondays, Oct. 12, 19 and 26, 8 a.m.-7 p.m.; Tuesdays-Fridays, Oct. 13-16, 20-23 and 27-30, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; and Saturday, Oct. 24, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
- St. Simons Island: Fire Station No. 2, 1929 Demere Road - Mondays, Oct. 12, 19 and 26, 8 a.m.-7 p.m.; Tuesday-Friday, Oct. 13-16, 20-23 and 27-30, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; and Saturday, Oct. 24, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
- Courthouse Annex, 312 Nichols Street, Blackshear - Monday-Friday, Oct. 12-30, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 24, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
- Board of Elections, 408 Tebeau Street, Waycross - Monday-Friday, Oct. 12-30, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 24, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
- Ware County Administration Building, 305 Oak Street, Waycross - Monday-Friday, Oct. 12-30, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Check your voting status and get other information on the Georgia Secretary of State’s My Voter page.