5,186 Richmond County Voters Cast Ballots Early After New Locations Opened
After the Richmond County Board of Elections opened three additional early voting locations on Wednesday, in-person early vote turnout surged higher than any previous daily total. Wednesday’s total in-person turnout of 2,879 ballots cast and Thursday’s total in-person turnout of 2,307 were each more than double the previous daily high of 1,057 ballots cast on October 21st.
As of Tuesday, Richmond County, with 152,508 registered voters (the tenth-highest number of registered voters in the state) had the second-lowest turnout rate at just 6.9%. This significantly lagged behind the state average turnout rate of 14.6%.
Wednesday’s new locations allowed more voters the opportunity to vote early, which led to a surge in turnout and helped move the county up two spots; now Richmond County has the fourth-lowest turnout rate at 8.5%.
Still, local leaders believe further actions are needed to ensure all residents can access early voting. On Wednesday, Augusta Commissioner Jordan Johnson, State Senator Harold Jones, and other members of the Augusta Commissioner, came together to call for an expansion of early voting hours from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM to help more residents cast their ballots early.
“It is essential to make sure that people who work full time can vote, people who have doctors’ appointments can vote, and anything else that may come up that could prohibit access to a ballot,” said Augusta Commissioner Jordan Johnson.
With the final week of early voting approaching, counties seeing lower in-person early voting turnout rates should consider opening additional locations to help ensure more Georgians can cast their ballots early.
Read more on Augusta Leaders’ call for expanded early voting hours: