ALBANY, Ga. — So far, a small number of registered voters is taking advantage of the early voting period for the presidential preference primary, leading one elections supervisor to call the turnout “pitfully slow.”
Voters can cast ballots each weekday until March 2 and, for the first time, on Saturday, Feb. 25.
But few, so far, have chosen to do so, area officials say.
In Albany, 118 of the more than 30,000 registered voters have cast ballots for the primary, with 137 absentee ballots having been requested.
In Lee County, turnout has been “pitifully slow,” according to supervisor Veronica Johnson. There, roughly 30 people had cast ballots by noon on Thursday, with 42 absentee ballots mailed out and 13 returned.
Johnson said her office is hoping for a good turnout on the Saturday voting day and that the county has OK’d distribution of banners around the area promoting the Saturday voting.
“Our theory is that if we’re going to be open, we’d like for all the people that can to take advantage of it and come out and vote,” Johnson said.
In Lee County, Saturday voting will take place at the elections office at 102 Starskville Avenue North, and in Albany, votes may be cast at the county elections office at 222 Pine Ave. The polls will be open Feb. 25 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and the Dougherty County Elections Office will open a second location at the Candy Room on the 100 block of Pine Avenue.
In the other counties of Albany’s metropolitan statistical area, the early voting numbers were equally as low.
In Worth County, 31 people had voted early in person, while 31 others had voted via absentee ballots.
In Terrell County, elections officials said that 15 people have voted in person for the GOP Primary, and another 38 have requested mail-out ballots, but strangely enough, another six people have voted in person and 47 requested mail-out ballots for the Democratic Primary — which includes only President Obama.
In Baker County, 15 people have voted in person, according to elections officials, and two people have requested mail-out ballots.
To vote in person, voters must bring a picture ID and be a registered voter in the county in which they are attempting to vote.
The deadline to request an application to be an absentee voter is Feb. 29, and all absentee ballots must be received by the voting office no later than 7 p.m. on election day — Tuesday, March 6.
On the ballot for the March 6 Georgia GOP Presidential Primary will be Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, Jon Huntsman, Gary Johnson, Rick Perry, Buddy Roemer and Michelle Bachman.