Large early voting turnout in Chatham Co. for January runoffs

The last day for early voting in Georgia is Friday, Nov. 1.
The last day for early voting in Georgia is Friday, Nov. 1.(WTOC)
Updated: Dec. 29, 2020 at 5:23 PM EST
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CHATHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - Georgia’s runoff election is now exactly a week away.

Voters will cast their ballots in three runoff races: a public service commission race, and two high-profile Senate races.

If you want to vote in-person early, you have until this Thursday, Dec. 31, to do so. Already, over 28,000 people have here in Chatham County.

And while more than 45,000 have requested absentee ballots, only about 19,000 have been returned.

“The absolute deadline for returning your absentee ballot to us is 7 p.m. on election night, which is Jan. 5, that Tuesday of election day. You must have it to us, in-person, in our hands by 7 p.m. Do not rely on having it post marked by that date, because that will not count, it will not get to us in time to be counted,” Chatham County Board of Registrars Chairman Colin McRae said.

Absentee ballots that have been received are already being processed, not counted, at the Board of Elections annex to make tallying the votes run smoother and faster on runoff election night. The Board of Elections chairman was asked what they’re anticipating in-person next Tuesday.

“Generally, in a runoff election, you anticipate a lower turnout. I just don’t think that’s going to be true in this case because of the tremendous attention to this runoff election in Georgia. So, we’re anticipating just as big a turnout, really, as was for the General Election in November,” Chatham County Board of Elections Chairman Tom Mahoney said.

That turnout for the General Election was around 65 percent of registered voters. Even with a potentially big in-person turnout, lines could move faster because of fewer options on the ballot.

WTOC received reports that some voters are having issues when checking to see if their mail-in ballot has been counted.

The Chatham County Board of Registrars says they are aware of the problem and it’s being fixed.

“I would tell voters who are concerned about their ballot not being reflected on the system as not being received, just because that system doesn’t show it as received, doesn’t mean it hasn’t been received. Stay patient and keep checking keep calling us we’ll help you check,” McRae said.

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