Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

October 28, 2012

Lowndes voters turn out in record numbers

VALDOSTA — Lowndes County Elections Supervisor Deb Cox estimates that approximately 25,000 voters will cast their ballots by the time early voting ends this week.

Though an estimate, this number would represent nearly 50 percent of Lowndes County’s approximately 60,000 registered voters casting ballots prior to the Nov. 6 election day. If Cox’s prediction holds true, the number will break the 2008 election record when approximately 22,000 Lowndes County voters cast ballots during a 45-day early voting period then.

This year’s early voting period extends over three weeks, with only 16 days available for early voting.

As of Saturday, which was Day 11 of the 16 available early voting days, 15,006 registered voters had cast a ballot at the Lowndes County Board of Elections office on North Oak Street.

On average, more than a thousand voters per day have poured into the Board of Elections office for early voting. On Saturday, 1,279 votes were cast. Friday witnessed 1,783 voters casting ballots.

Yet, even with such high numbers, as of Friday, Cox says no voter has had to spend more than 15 minutes at the elections office, with exception of the one constituent whose car broke down in the parking lot this past week.

“We learned a lot of lessons from the 2008 election,” Cox says.

In 2008, the elections office experienced standing-room-only crowds. This year, the election office has 120 seats available for waiting voters and 149 parking spaces. Cox believes the election office will likely see a higher yield of voters in this coming last week of early voting, as the hours also increase from  8 a.m.-5 p.m. to 7 a.m-7 p.m., and will likely experience more situations where some

voters may have to briefly stand. There have already been instances when the parking lot filled, but elections officials have kept the wait at the 15-minute mark or less.

Learning from 2008, election officials locally and statewide prepared for this year’s potential early-voting crowds.

“We strategized on how to do it better,” Cox says. “… We brainstormed constantly to think of ways we could keep everyone moving and voting.”

It starts and ends with the parking lot where attendants direct voters in and out of the North Oak Street location. At the front door, voters are instructed where to go. Staff members are dedicated to taking IDs and checking voters’ registration. Two to four people constantly work the counter.

Board of Elections staff assure voters properly cast their ballots in a timely manner while also performing their regular daily tasks and preparing for the Nov. 6 election with its multiple precincts and numerous polling place workers.

The BOE staff has averaged 30 hours a week of overtime so far during early voting, Cox says.

“We haven’t had a day off in a long time,” Cox says.

The election board staff’s days won’t get any shorter this week as early voters pushed Friday toward an average of 2,000 per day and the office increases its voting hours to 12 hours per day.

And with this many people voting early in Lowndes County, and even the President of the United States casting an early vote in a Chicago precinct this past week, early voting looks like a ritual that’s here to stay.

Early voting continues 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Friday, Oct. 29-Nov. 2, Lowndes County Board of Elections, 2808 N. Oak St. Voters may also vote on election day, Nov. 6, when not only the totals will be made public, but the likely winners in each race.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • doug henderson.jpg Memorial tourney returns

    The Doug Henderson III Memorial Golf Tournament has raised thousands of dollars for scholarship funds and to help organizations throughout the region.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • 041914-WA-Egghunt021.jpg Park puts wild spin on Easter tradition

    Adventurous egg hunters braved overcast skies and a persistent drizzle to search for hidden prizes Saturday during Wild Adventure’s first Ostrich Egg Hunt.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • FallenTree003.JPG More spills reported

    City of Valdosta employees have spent the weekend responding to spills caused by several inches of rain that have again drenched the city during the past few days.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Underwater Easter_Rich copy.jpg Stories behind ‘The Greatest Story Ever Told’

    Christ comes from the Greek word, “Christos,” meaning “the anointed one.”

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140418_valwood001.jpg Valwood students register to vote

    Valwood teaches its students about the importance of voting. Each year, the school has encouraged eligible seniors to register to vote and participate in local elections.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • wadebrandon14.jpg Police still seeking missing mother, son

    Though their assignments have changed during the past dozen years, Valdosta Police Capt. Bobbi McGraw and Sgt. Chris Crews continue working the case of a missing mother and her son.

    April 19, 2014 3 Photos

  • 041814-TreeDownonRobinHood.jpg Minor flooding expected

    Minor flooding of the Withlacoochee River is expected this weekend thanks to the day-long rains across South Georgia Friday, according to the National Weather Service.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 041814-TreeDownonRobinHood.jpg Wastewater hazards assessed

    During heavy rain events, five to 15 manholes throughout the city are at risk of overflowing into local waterways, according to the City of Valdosta.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140418-VSU_HSBA003.jpg Valdosta State cuts ribbon for health, business building

    Eighteen months after breaking ground on the project, Valdosta State University held the official ribbon cutting Friday for its Health Sciences and Business Administration Building.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140417-Rail_Plan-001.jpg State Transportation seeks public input on rail plan

    The Georgia Department of Transportation held public meetings across the state this week to discuss its 2014 Georgia State Rail Plan.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

Top News
Poll

Given the amount of rain recently, what's your favorite “rain” song?

Singing in the Rain
Purple Rain
Have You Ever Seen the Rain?
November Rain
Rainy Night in Georgia
Other
     View Results