UPDATE: Hours extended at two Chatham Co. voting precincts

Large turnout of Chatham Co. voters for runoff election
Large turnout of Chatham Co. voters for runoff election(WTOC)
Updated: Jan. 5, 2021 at 6:24 PM EST
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - (6:20 p.m. UPDATE): Hours have been extended at two Chatham County voting precincts.

Voting hours have been extended at Beach High until 7:35 p.m. and the Old Courthouse until 7:33 p.m.

Savannah Mayor Van Johnson and other members of the Democratic Party of Georgia asked for the extension from a judge due to technical issues and possible misinformation.

The last person to vote at Beach High said if the time hadn’t been extended, he would not have been able to vote.

“It’s important for us to vote because we got to make a change too. We got to make stuff work for us just as well as our kids, the younger generation and every voice matters. It doesn’t matter who you are black, white, race, everything, it all matters. That one vote could change anything,” said voter Jamari Tripp.

The latest information from the Board of Registrars Chairman, is nearly 80,000 voters in Chatham County either voted in-person early or had their absentee ballot processed already.

We asked the Chatham County Board of Elections chairman what he’s heard today about turnout, and lines at polling locations.

“Voting is good, it’s steady. The lines are not overwhelmed, so I would just describe it as steady, moderate turnout. The moderate turnout, though, shouldn’t be misleading. We’re talking about in-poll turnout today,” said Tom Mahoney, Chairman, Chatham County Board of Elections.

Mahoney pointed out the number of absentee ballots they’re anticipating coming in today, somewhere in the thousands, will dictate how soon we start seeing results. And that might not be before midnight.

Once polls close, one of the first things that will be done is a verification of the number of absentee ballots delivered here by the registrars office, versus what’s been processed.

Then, early in-person votes and absentee votes that have already been processed will be the first to be tabulated, followed by those votes from precincts that were able to get their equipment and ballots turned in first after 7 p.m. and the last voter at their location closed.

The Chairman for the Chatham County Board of Elections is asking for patience though, because it’s still not known how many ballots through absentee voting will come in today that will still need to go through the verification process at the Registrars Office.

“We don’t know how many that they’re going to bring over today. And then people can still vote by absentee by dropping them off until 7, until the polls close. So we don’t know how many are going to come in up to 7 O clock tonight that the Board of Registrars won’t even be able to begin processing to bring over to us until after then,” said Mahoney.

The poll manager at the Civic Center says they’ve seen 10 to 15 ballots an hour. She also says they’ve seen a lot of young people turn out today as well.

Poll workers at the Civic Center say even though there hasn’t really been a line out the door it’s been busy with voters coming in and out.

They have faced some issues today mostly with people coming to the wrong polling location.

Another problem they’ve seen is with several Savannah College of Art and Design students who were registered just before the run off are not showing up in the system at the polls.

However she also says they’ve confirmed those students are all currently registered to vote and were allowed to cast their ballot today.

“We have not turned anyone away. The only ones that we’ve turned away, we’ve had a large group of people thinking that this was still early voting and they came here to vote but this was not their precinct so other than that we’ve been busy. Because usually we’re very slow but today we’ve been moving,” said poll manager Shirley Stinson.

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