City voters can cast their ballots before the Nov. 2 municipal general election this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. until Oct. 29 at the Glynn County Board of Elections and Registration office, 1815 Gloucester St., Brunswick.
Two non-partisan seats — mayor and North Ward — are being contested.
Eight candidates are seeking the mayor’s seat held by Cornell Harvey the past eight years. Harvey cannot seek another term because of term limits.
Challengers hoping to replace Harvey for a four-year term are incumbent North Ward Commissioner Vincent Williams, Ann M. Senior, Cosby Johnson, Helen Rachel Ladson, Ivan D. Figuroa, John D. Perry II, Robbie Tucker and Travis Slim Riddle.
Four candidates qualified to seek the North Ward City Commission seat held by Williams. Earnest Peewee Culbreath, Gary B. Cook Sr., Kendra Leola Rolle and Neil R. Foster will face each other in that contest.
South Ward Commissioner Felicia Harris is unopposed in her bid for another term of office.
City elections are non-partisan.
Christina Redden, assistant supervisor for the board of elections and registration, said as of Thursday morning 223 people had cast early votes. A total of 82 absentee ballots have been sent out and 32 have been returned, Redden said.
So far, she said the early votes and absentee ballots are ahead of the pace set in the 2019 city elections where only 8 percent of the registered voters showed up to the polls.
Redden said she expects a much higher turnout for the upcoming election because of the contested mayor’s race.
When Harvey was first elected mayor in 2013, Redden said 24.3 percent of registered voters cast ballots.
Poll workers will begin opening and scanning ballots beginning Monday at the board of elections office. But the votes won’t be tabulated until 7 p.m. on Election Day, Redden said. Scanning the votes early will greatly speed up the final vote count, she said.
Unlike in past years, Redden said poll watchers and other interested citizens have been watching the process.
“Everything is in full view of the public,” she said. “We always have people watching.”
Redden said she is relieved the vote count is being scrutinized and welcomes anyone who wants to watch the process.
“It’s good when people can see that,” she said. “I wish we had a crowd.”
Redden said the floor plan of the adjacent CVS building on Gloucester Street, which the elections office will occupy in 2023, includes large windows to accommodate crowds who want to watch the process.
The winner of the city races must get more than 50 percent of the vote or the top two vote-getters in the Nov. 2 general election will face each other in a runoff on Nov. 30.