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Posted: October 30, 2012 7:51 p.m.

Early voting brings out 17,000-plus

Early voters continue to turn out in droves, as both political parties are doing their best to turn out the vote leading up to the Nov. 6 election.

As of close of voting Monday, more than 17,000 voters had cast their ballots early, either in person or by absentee ballot.

Turnout has been steadily heavy, including Saturday voting, where 1,342 ballots were cast. In addition, an early voting satellite center is open this week at the Porter Memorial Branch Library on Ga. Highway 212, and 339 residents voted there Monday.

The update number of active, registered voters is 57,939, according to the board of elections, so turnout is already around 30 percent, nearly matching the final primary turnout of 30.92 percent.

Early voting turnout in 2008 was 46.13 percent, with 25,132 total voters casting ballots. Total turnout for the 2008 election was 76.33 percent, and elections supervisor Donna Morrison said previously she expected this year's turnout to equal or exceed the 2008 levels.

Voters were somewhat mum heading out of the polls Monday.

"I'm a truck driver and I am not going to be here on Election Day, so I'm just coming here early to get my voice heard," a Republican said.

"I find it's very important to vote early," a Democrat said.

Meanwhile, church groups and county Commissioner J.C. Henderson were doing their best to get voters to the polls.

"I made about 25 trips today. I probably brought around 75 (people) here today," Henderson said Monday. "This election is important to the citizens of Newton County, the citizens of Covington and to me."

Early voting is available until Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Newton County Board of Elections, 1113 Usher St., Covington, and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Porter Memorial Branch Library, 6191 Highway 212, Covington. People can also still mail in absentee ballots.

Voting at the polls will be from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday. You can find a sample ballot and a variety of information and videos about the candidates at CovNews.com.

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