Early voting numbers down in Chatham County - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Chatham County early voting numbers down from 2008

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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

Georgia got out to vote early. Close to two million people voted in early and advanced voting, but the numbers in Chatham County dropped significantly from 2008 to 2012.

With 5,000 new registered voters among the 150,380 registered voters, Board of Elections reported to WTOC that 33,335 of eligible voters took advantage of early voting.

The number is close to 20,000 voters less than 2008.

Russell Bridges, Board of Elections supervisor, told WTOC he's not surprised, despite long lines at the voter registration office almost every single day, non-stop, throughout the three week early voting period.

"All of the early voting sites were busy. Voter registration was processing more than 1,000 people a day and all the satellite sites were doing high numbers," Bridges told WTOC. "It's really a matter of there was less than half the number of days to early vote this time versus 2008."

Despite the shorter early voting periods, Effingham County reported an increase in early voters, from more than 6,000 in 2008 to nearly 9,000 in 2012.

Same story in Bulloch County, which saw close to 11,000 people vote early, a 2,000 person increase from 2008.

Bridges anticipates crowds at most of the 89 voting precincts in Chatham County on election day, but made no specific predictions on turn-out.

Voters are reminded to bring a photo ID with them to vote and check where they need to go to vote, since precincts have changed since 2008. Bridges also suggests printing out a sample ballot online before heading to the polls to speed up the process and make the time at the ballot box more efficient.

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