People wait to cast their ballots early at Ballard Park.

With Election Day still days away, turnout in the 2020 presidential contest appears likely to exceed that of 2016.

As of 7:50 p.m. Friday, the Glynn County Board of Elections had received approximately 9,670 mail-in ballots and close to 24,800 in-person early votes, according to county Assistant Elections and Registration Supervisor Christina Redden. The board was still counting absentee ballots at the time, and she expected to see more than 34,500 mail-in and early in-person votes in total.

During the 2016 election, 18,539 people voted early while 1,622 cast a ballot by mail. Another 14,356 voted on Election Day and 66 cast provisional ballots for a total of 34,583.

“I think we’ve blown past that,” Redden said.

That amounts to a roughly 32.7 percent increase in early votes in-person and a nearly 500 percent spike in mail-ins.

This close to Election Day, Redden encouraged voters not to try their luck by mailing in an absentee ballot.

“Local mail takes two business days to get to us, and it has to be in our door by 7 p.m Tuesday night. From this moment on I would heavily consider the drop boxes,” said Redden. “This isn’t any reflection on the post office. This is just the way it is.”

Absentee ballots can be deposited in drop-off boxes at three locations until 7 p.m. Tuesday — the Office Park Building at 1815 Gloucester St. in Brunswick, the Ballard Community Building at 30 Nimitz Drive and Glynn County Fire Station No. 2, 1929 Demere Road, St. Simons Island.

Statewide numbers show a similarly massive increase in turnout over 2016. As of noon Friday, 3.7 million voters had cast an early ballot, 2.5 million in-person and 1.2 million by mail, according to the Georgia Secretary of State’s office.

Those numbers have already surpassed early voting in 2016 by a long shot. As of the end of early voting four years ago, 2.1 million had voted. In-person ballots accounted for 1.9 million, mail-in 165,041.

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