With a little less than a week to go for early voting, more than 8 percent of active registered voters have already turned out to cast their ballots for the July 31 election and primary race in Rockdale County.
That's a little less than a third of the projected turnout for all primary voters.
As of the end of Saturday, July 21, when the Rockdale board of elections office held Saturday voting, 8.18 percent or 3,962 of Rockdale's 48,213 active registered voters had cast their ballot.
Earlier, the Board of Elections office had forecast a turnout of about 30 percent of all active registered voters, or 14,465 voters.
According to Elections Supervisor Cynthia Welch, that already exceeds the total early voting numbers for the 2010 and 2008 primaries.
"For the 2010 General Primary, 2,929 voters cast early ballots and in 2008, 2,301 voters cast early votes," said Welch.
Out of the in-person and mail ballots received so far, 2,550 were Republicans, 1,349 were Democrats, and 63 were nonpartisan.
The highest early voting turnout has been in the Stanton and Honey Creek precincts so far. The lowest has been in the Fieldstone and Olde Town precincts so far.
Four more days remain out of 16 for early in-person voting. Early voting in person and by absentee ballot in the mail runs July 9 – 27. The primary and nonpartisan election day is July 31.
To cast an absentee ballot in person, voters must visit the Board of Elections and Registration office at 1400 Parker Road between the hours of 8am and 4:30pm Mondays through Fridays beginning July 9 and ending July 20. Other designated hours include 9am to 4pm on Saturday, July 21, and 8am to 4:30pm on Monday, July 23 and Tuesday, July 24. Lastly, the office will offer extended hours from 8am to 7pm on Wednesday, July 25 through Friday, July 27.
To request an absentee ballot by mail, voters can submit a written request to the Board of Elections office. Written requests can be made by mail, email or fax and must include the voter’s name, address, date of birth, address of where the ballot must be mailed, telephone number, type of ballot (Democrat, Republican or Non-Partisan) and the voter's signature. Absentee ballots must be returned by no later than 7pm on election day.
Absentee ballots can also be downloaded on the county’s website at www.rockdalecounty.org, where sample ballots are also available for viewing.
Residents will be required to present one of six forms of photo identification as proof of residence for advanced voting and on election day. The most common form of identification accepted will be a valid Georgia driver's license. Others forms are a current passport, a government-issued ID card or a military ID card. Those without any one of these forms of photo identification can obtain a free voter ID card at the county registrars' office or the Georgia Department of Driver's Services.
The Rockdale County Elections Supervisor’s office projects 14,465 voters will cast ballots next month for July 31.
According to the Rockdale County Board of Elections office, all 48,213 registered voters should have received new precinct cards in the mail last week to reflect newly assigned Congressional, State House and Senate districts, which were realigned due to population shifts reflected in the 2010 census.
To confirm voter registration and voting location, voters can contact either the Board of Elections office at (770)278-7333, the Voter Registration Hotline at (888)264-1115 or visit the Secretary of State’s website at www.sos.georgia.gov/MVP.