Voter turnout surpasses 2016 three weeks ahead of Early Voting

Photo of absentee ballot applications (Savannah Simpson photo)
Photo of absentee ballot applications (Savannah Simpson photo)

At the close of business on Friday, April 24, Henry County elections staff had processed 17,712 applications for an absentee ballot. Four years ago, in the 2016 general primary, a total of 17,637 votes were cast.

Four years ago, 525 Henry County voters received an absentee ballot by mail. The 3,374% increase (and climbing) in voting by mail is caused by the Coronavirus pandemic and the Georgia Secretary of State’s decision to send a statewide mailer to voters.

According to Ryan Anderson and his site Georgia Votes, 73.8% of Henry County applicants did not vote in the 2016 primary. Furthermore, 75.3% of applicants are age fifty or older. Anderson uses publicly available data from the Secretary of State’s office to compile the information.

The first absentee ballots began to reach voters’ mailboxes late last week. Voters may fill them out at their convenience and return the ballot to the Henry County elections office between now and June 9.

Early Voting starts May 18

Early voting for the combined primary starts in three weeks on May 18, one day before the primary was originally scheduled.

The elections office in downtown McDonough (40 Atlanta Street) and Merle Manders Conference Center in Stockbridge will offer early voting during the weeks of May 18–22 and May 26–29 from 8am to 5pm. Both locations will be closed on May 25 in observance of Memorial Day.

Saturday voting will be held on May 30 from 9am to 4pm at five locations: the elections office, Merle Manders, Fairview Recreation Center, Fortson Library in Hampton, and the Locust Grove Library. Sunday voting on May 31 is limited to downtown McDonough and Merle Manders between 1–5pm.

Finally, a sixth site is added during the week of June 1–5. The sites mentioned above plus JP Moseley Recreation Center will be open from 7am to 7pm.

All regular voting precincts will be open on June 9 for Election Day. Polls are open 7am to 7pm.

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Clayton Carte is the founder and owner of MHF News. He founded the site in 2017 to highlight transportation projects. Over time, he began covering other topics like new development so residents can best know what’s happening in our community.