After 16 days of early voting opportunity including three Monday-Friday weeks and one Saturday, 2,162 Bulloch County residents have cast their ballots in advance of Tuesday’s state, congressional and county primaries and nonpartisan general election.
That was the count from Elections Supervisor Patricia Lanier Jones after the early voting ended at 5 p.m. Friday. No in-person voting is permitted Monday, but some absentee ballots previously mailed out by the voting office could still be returned. Of the 184 absentee ballots mailed, 102 had been returned as of Friday. But the rest can still be counted if returned before 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Adding the 102 returned paper ballots to the 2,162 advanced in-person ballots gives a total of 2,264 participating voters as of Friday. So, more than 36,000 of Bulloch County’s 38,639 active, registered voters have not participated and could still do so Tuesday.
In 2014, when there were 32,161 active, registered voters on the county’s rolls, 6,450 voted in the statewide primary, for a 20 percent turnout, Jones noted. Since registration has increased, another 5,500 voters would have to turn out Tuesday just to approach that percentage.
This time the city of Statesboro has a special election, but only in City Council District 5, for a council member. Early voting was also available 16 days for that election, and 101 Statesboro District 5 voters cast early ballots in-person. Meanwhile, just six absentee ballots were requested by city voters in that district, and five have been returned.
Traditional voting precincts across the county will be open for Election Day voting Tuesday from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Only one precinct, Pittman Park United Methodist Church, will host the city’s District 5 special election Tuesday, and not all of the precinct’s voters live in District 5.