Update, Oct. 30: Early voting turnout continues to be strong and could get an even bigger boost this week as a satellite early voting center is open this week from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Porter Memorial Branch Library, 6191 Highway 212, Covington, Ga. 30016. Early voting is also still available at the Newton County Board of Elections, 1113 Usher St., Covington, Ga. 30014; people can also still mail in absentee ballots.
As of this weekend, 14,458 people had voted early in person and another 1,175 voters had mailed in their ballots according to the board of elections.
As of Oct. 1, the county had 56,851 active, registered voters, but that number doesn't include any voters who registered leading up to the Oct. 9 deadline, officials said previously.
Original story, Oct. 16: Early voting began Monday and hundreds of Newton County residents stood in line to take advantage of early voting to cast their votes for the upcoming local and presidential election.
Newton County Election Supervisor Donna Morrison said that high numbers were not unusual for early voting, and that she thought the election would have "a very good turn out." She said she believed that the county would have at least the 76 percent turnout it did last presidential election and perhaps exceed it.
Early voter Sheila Cooksey said the presidential race was the primary reason she came to the polls early.
"I'm very excited," she said, adding that she had voted for President Barack Obama because she believed he had "done a very good job," during his time in office the last four years.
Andre Johnson was also excited about voting and said both presidential and local races brought him out to take advantage of early voting.
Johnson said he also would be voting again for Obama, saying "I think he's doing a pretty good job. He couldn't fix all the problems in four years; hopefully he will have four more years to fix things."
In 2008, Newton County just barely went to Obama as he garnered 50.21 percent of the vote to Sen. John McCain's 49.03 percent.
Early voting lasts until Nov. 2. Voters can cast their ballots in the meeting room across from the Newton County Board of Elections, 1113 Usher St., from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
In addition, there will be early voting on Saturday, Oct. 27 at the board of elections.
Finally, there will once again be an early voting satellite center open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 29-Nov. 2 at the Porter Memorial Branch Library, 6191 Highway 212 Covington.
As of Oct. 1, the county had 56,851 active, registered voters, but that number doesn't include any voters who registered leading up to the Oct. 9 deadline.
Local races up for election include county chairman, board of commissioners District 3, BOC District 5, board of education district 2, county coroner and state senate 17. In addition, voters will have to decide whether to approve an amendment that would give the state more authority to approve new charter schools.