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Bulloch election turnout may hit 79 percent
County GOP, Dem leaders see different result in presidential race
Voters line up outside the Bulloch County Courthouse late Friday afternoon. More than 400 voters were still in line when the courthouse closed at 5 p.m., but all who were in line at 5 p.m. were allowed to cast ballots. Early voting in Georgia began Sept. 22 and about 8,600 voters in Bulloch cast early votes.

Bulloch County Voting Precinct locations

#1) Lockhart - 4472 Rockyford Road (1.4 miles from US 25)
#2) Blitch - 1757 Metts Road (Middleground Community building)
#3) Hagin - 5023 Clito Road (block building at corner of Hwy 24)
#4) Brooklet - 416 Cromley Road (Brooklet Recreation Department)
#5) Stilson - 15226 HWY 119 Connector (Stilson Community building)
#6) Bay - 63 Lanier Road (next to fire department)
#7) Nevils - 123 Nevils-Denmark Road (beside fire department)
#8) Sinkhole - 201 Kelly Pond Road (Sinkhole Homemakers building)
#9) Register - 33 Foster Road ( (between 2nd and Railroad streets)
#10) Emit - 3023 Harville Road (just past Groover Old Mill intersection)
#11) Statesboro - 150 Williams Road (William James Education Complex)
#12) Portal - 27209 Highway 80 West (Portal City Hall)
#13) Fair - 16942 Highway 67 South (Kiwanis Fair Grounds)
#14) Church - 4 South Zetterower (Statesboro Primitive Baptist Church)
#15) Pittman Park - 1102 Fair Road (Pittman Park United Methodist Church)
#16) Leefield - 300 Lee Avenue (Leefield Volunteer Fire Department)

     Bulloch County election officials predict a 79 percent local turnout when all ballots are counted on Election Day 2008 and local leaders of both the Democratic and Republican parties believe Bulloch and Georgia will maintain its recent tradition of voting more on the Republican side. Opinions, however, differ when they talk about the presidential race on a national level.
      Bulloch County GOP Chairman Allen Muldrew said "On the national level ... I think it will be closer than some folks thought it would be. Everybody tends to vote their pocketbook and many will be ready for change."
      He predicted Bulloch County will "stick with safety" and Republican presidential candidate John McCain will carry both the county and the state.
      But Bulloch County Democratic Party Chairman George Jackson is confident Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama will take the presidency.
      "I see Obama's position as more favorable," he said. "I'm going on whether he can deliver what his campaign platform" promises.
      Jackson also believes tradition may change on a local level, as "what happens nationally surely affects the people locally."
      Georgia Southern University Political Science Department chairman Dr. Richard Pacelle believes Obama may be the next president, as well.
      "It looks like Obama has a fairly significant lead," he said. "He has a lot of paths to take, where McCain just has one."
      McCain is banking on taking Virginia and other red states, but the race is too close to call. After speaking to people in Virginia Friday, Pacelle said Obama has been "very skillful" at convincing voters to cast a favorable eye on him.
      On a local level, the only races opposed are those for Probate Court Judge and for state representative in District 156. Incumbent probate judge Lee DeLoach is challenged by Liz Johnson, while incumbent state Rep. Butch Parrish is challenged by Johnathan McCollar in District 156.
      When it comes to state races, Muldrew expects the Republican party will prevail as it has over the past three general elections, but some races - such as the race between incumbent Congressman John Barrow and challenger John Stone - will be close. "People are trying to be as informed as they can be."
      Jackson agreed that "the state races are too close to call."
      And anything could happen, with the record numbers of young people registering to vote and older voters who have been inactive for some time coming out to vote, he said.
      Jackson said he talked with a woman in her 90's who stood in line for early voting, and was impressed by her reasons for getting out to cast her vote.
      "I believe what is happening in this campaign will change the way a lot of people will look at politics," he said.
      Pacelle said he foresees "Democrats making inroads" although he predicts the state will cling to its traditionally Republican vote.
      DeLoach, whose office includes responsibility as election superintendent, predicted Friday Bulloch County's voter turnout will reach 79 percent.
      There are "right at 33,000 active voters, including new registrants who registered just before the deadline," he said.
      Only about 19,000 voted in the 2004 election, which translated into 74.6 percent.
      Early voting in Georgia began Sept. 22 and about 8,600 Bulloch County voters cast ballots by the time early voting ended Friday afternoon. About 17,500 are expected to vote Tuesday on Election Day, he said.
      Voters should not worry about extremely long lines Tuesday because "we're going to be ready," he said. Also, long lines seen at the Bulloch County Courthouse for early voting won't reflect anticipated lines at other voting precincts because there are many more voting precincts scattered around the county.
      "I want to encourage people to come to the polls to vote," he said.

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