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
  • Baytree Animal Hospital LB copy.JPG Animal hospital named Business of the Week

    Baytree Animal Hospital was named Leading Business of the Week by the  Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber of Commerce for July 14.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gavel-courtroom.jpg Water treatment plant discussed

    The Lowndes County Board of Commissioners discussed purchasing two pieces of equipment for the Alapaha Water Treatment Plant and the Spring Creek System for a total of $1,638,000 during its Monday work session and is expected to vote on the issue tonight.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • education.jpg Charter school petition denied

    Both the Valdosta City and Lowndes County school boards unanimously denied the joint charter petition from Scintilla Charter Academy during their respective meetings Monday evening.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • echols_alapapa.jpg WWALS gets grant from river network

    The Willacoochee, Withlacoochee, Alapaha, and Little River Systems Watershed Coalition, Inc. (WWALS) received a $500 Alapaha Water Trail Grant from the Georgia River Network

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140718-ARJim2.jpg Teacher at home anywhere in the world

    Variety is the spice of life. South Georgia is home to a diverse group of people, each with a unique life story. One man with glorious tales of travel and selfless volunteer work is Jim Kokoruda.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • fire2a.jpg Blaze damages North Lowndes home

    Lowndes County Fire Rescue responded to a fire call Sunday at 3756 Cross Creek Circle near Bemiss Road.

    July 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • 140719-KidsInc3 copy.jpg Kids get a taste of retail operations

    Valdosta Mall shoppers may have noticed a few additional shopping options Saturday as they walked through center court.
    Children ranging in age from 6 to 15 years old set up booths and sold products to consumers.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140719-UnseenProject7 copy.jpg CrossPointe welcomes ‘Unseen’ travelers home

    CrossPointe Church members gathered Saturday to greet their pastor and fellow congregationalists returning from a filmed two-month-long motorcycle trip across the nation and back.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • election.jpg Runoff set for Tuesday

    Advanced voting ended Friday for the runoff election from the May 20 primary.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Modern Woodmen RC copy.JPG Woodmen welcomed to Valdosta

    The The Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber of Commerce and its Ambassadors welcomed the Valdosta chapter of Modern Woodmen Fraternal Financial with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday, July 15.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

Top News
Poll

School starts again in about two weeks. What do you think?

It's still summer. School starts too soon.
Seems like the right time to return.
Abolish summer recess. Make school year-round.
     View Results