As the countdown to the November 3rd election enters its final days, record numbers of voters are casting ballots.
There are a few options for the more than 131,000 registered voters in Muscogee County.
Director of Elections Nancy Boren is predicting a record-smashing 90 percent turnout for this election. More than 40,000 Columbus residents have already voted. Another 90,000 registered voters in the area can still vote early or wait until election day.
If you are thinking, “I need to go vote early,” you probably do.
Gabriel Sterling, a voting system implementation manager from the Secretary of State’s Office give us one good reason.
“You get off all those robo call lists. You stop getting mail. You stop getting people hassling you about voting. That should be an incentive for everybody to vote before election day,” Sterling said.
Campaigns pick up a list daily of who’s voted.
“I can guarantee you that the Biden and Trump campaigns will stop messing with you once you vote,” Sterling said.
That’s reason enough.
As a Columbus voter, how can you get your vote in before Nov. 3?
You can still request an absentee ballot, but your best bet is an in-person early voting site. There are three open now – City Services Center on Macon Road, the Trade Center downtown and the Shirley Winston Rec Center off Steam Mill Road.
On Sunday, two more advance sites open – the ice rink at the Civic Center on Victory Drive and the Health Department on Veterans Parkway.
That’s more than 180 machines in play – 60 of them inside the Trade Center.
For the last week there have little to no lines for early voting in Columbus. That is in sharp contrast to the first days of early voting. One polling place. Long lines.
“With the Trade Center open in Muscogee County you have a really good option to move through quickly. And get it off your plate,” Sterling said.
The Civic Center site will also have 60 machines and has the possibility of moving hundreds of voters through with much of a line. The hours can be a little tricky. All of the sites open at 7 a.m. Shirley Winston and the Civic Center close at 6 p.m. The other three are open until 7.
The last day to early in person vote is Friday, October 30th. In Georgia, there has been record absentee voting and record early in person voting.
“And we are probably going to have record election day voting. … The more people who have voted in the pre-election day options means they are not going to be in line ahead of you or in line behind you,” Sterling said.