More people seem to be turning out for early voting this year in Troup County.
Chief Registrar Amy Hyatt said at 2 p.m. Tuesday that 3,806 people had come in to vote and the office was averaging 550 to 600 people per day, and the rate has increased since early voting began last week.
“I think people are really ready to speak their voice between the presidential and sheriff’s races,” Hyatt said.
In the 2008 presidential election, Troup County had about 8,000 votes cast over 45 days of early voting. About one-third of the way into the current 21-day early voting period, Hyatt pointed out that the count is already up to half of the 2008 election’s turnout.
“There are a lot of young people, a lot of first-time voters, and I’m impressed with that,” Hyatt said of those showing up. “They are very excited.”
Since July, Hyatt said the office has registered about 2,000 new Troup County voters. There are about 20 people working in the office for the election period, and the steady stream of voters have been kept them busy, Hyatt said.
Hyatt believed that many people seem to prefer voting early to avoid long lines on election day.
“I guess it’s convenience, too, if you have to come to the courthouse anyway, you can take some time to go vote,” Hyatt said.
Voters leaving Tuesday agreed that it was convenience driving them to vote early. Natalie Hale said she came because she had the opportunity while her children were at school. Marian McGhee said she just happened to walk by and decided to vote early instead of wait until the last minute at the polls.
Irma Mooty said she enjoyed not having to stand in line at the polls. Paul Norris said he has voted early for four years and it is a lot easier than going on election day. Mooty and Norris said they mainly wanted to vote in the presidential race.
Hyatt said that voters do not have to have a voter identification card, which has been erroneously reported in some outlets. Voters only need to have valid photo identification.
Absentee ballots also have been coming into the office at a higher rate this year. Hyatt said that anyone may apply for an absentee ballot, which can save them a trip to the courthouse or polls.
Applications for absentee ballots are available online at troupcountyga.org or sos.georgia.gov, or by calling the Troup County Voter Registration office at 706-883-1745. Applications will be accepted until noon Nov. 2 for in-state absentee voters and Oct. 31 for those out of state. Ballots must be returned by Nov. 6.
Early voting is open Monday through Friday at the Troup County Government Center on Ridley Avenue from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. until Nov. 2.