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NEWTON VOTES: Overall voter turnout lower than 2016 election, participation high in majority Republican precincts
By the Precinct - 2020 election
A total of 54,445 ballots were cast in Newton County for the General Election held Tuesday, Nov. 3. Above is a map depicting which of the county’s 22 precincts leaned Democrat (blue) or Republican (red) in the presidential race. (Illustration by The Covington News)

COVINGTON, Ga. — A lower percentage of Newton County registered voters cast ballots in this year’s election that included the presidential race compared to 2016.

But having 26% more voters on the rolls this year may have lowered the percentage of those who cast ballots, the elections board chairman said.

A total of 54,445 ballots were cast in Newton County out of 78,994 registered voters this year for a 68.92% voter turnout.

That was a decrease from the 75.13% turnout in 2016 in which 43,803 Newton County voters participated out of 58,302 registered voters.

Elections Board Chairman Phil Johnson noted the number of people who turned out to vote this year came close to exceeding the total number of all active registered voters on the rolls in 2016.

“Our voter universe has increased so much since 2016,” he said.

Johnson said he believed COVID-19 also may have prompted some older voters to stay home on Election Day rather than risk catching the virus.

The combination of people voting in-person on Election Day, in-person during the advance voting period, and absentee voters assigned to a voting precinct gives the total of voters at that precinct during any election.

The percentage of all 

registered voters assigned to a precinct who cast ballots during an election is the voter turnout.

Highest voter turnout for the General Election was seen at nine of the 10 voting precincts where Republican incumbent Donald Trump was the top choice, according to information from the Secretary of State’s office.

The highest percentage of voters, 82%, cast ballots at the Hub precinct that covers northeast Newton County; followed by Mansfield, 80%; Newborn, 79%; Brick Store and Gum Creek, 78% each; Leguinn, 76%; Oxford, 75%; Alcovy, 74%; and Brewers, 72%. All were precincts where Trump was the top vote-getter.

“East Newton had tremendous turnout,” Johnson said.

Downs, a precinct that covers part of western Newton, and Almon, which covers part of northwestern Newton, were the only precincts that exceeded 70% turnout with a majority voting for Democrat Joe Biden.

Lowest turnout was 58% at the City Pond precinct and 59% at the Town precinct, both of which include parts of the city of Oxford.

Unofficial vote totals in the presidential election also showed:

• Most Newton County voters for Trump cast ballots in-person either on Election Day at their assigned precincts or during the three-week advance voting period.

About 45% of Trump voters cast ballots on Election Day; 34% voted during the advance voting period; and 21% voted absentee.

• The majority of Biden voters cast ballots in-person during the advance voting period.

About 42% voted in-person in advance, followed by 35% who voted absentee, and 23% who voted in-person on Election Day.

• Libertarian presidential candidate Jo Jorgensen received 576 Newton County votes, with top support coming in the Alcovy precinct which gave her 51 votes.

He said he was happy with the way the elections staff planned and managed the tallying of ballots, which allowed Newton County to complete all counting and have a report of total votes by 11 p.m.

“We had a great team,” he said. “They stayed focused.”

The elections board is scheduled to meet Monday, Nov. 9, to certify the election, Johnson said.