Early voting polls for the 2018 runoff election closed on Friday after relatively high turnout.
Voters cast 3,768 ballots during the early voting period, said Elections and Registration Supervisor Monica Couch.
The Glynn County Board of Elections mailed out 1,418 absentee ballots and accepted 450 of them as of 5 p.m. Friday, with more in the hopper, Couch said.
Early voting for this runoff election surpassed the last two, likely because the ballot included statewide races this time around. In 2016, the total turnout was 538 — 183 early — for the Brunswick Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission Post 1 runoff election.
There was no general election runoff in 2014, but JWSC’s Post 2 seat went to a runoff in 2012. 1,079 voters turned out for it, 140 of them early. Utility commission elections were held during the primary elections this year, and that race was decided in July during the primary runoff.
This runoff seemed overwhelming at times, not least because the board of elections decided to open the early voting polls two days before it had originally planned, but Couch said that’s the job.
“People need to vote. It’s not a matter of us feeling overwhelmed,” Couch said.
This year’s runoff ballot features two statewide races, Secretary of State and Public Safety Commissioner.
Democrat John Barrow and Republican Brad Raffinsperger are competing to replace governor-elect Brian Kemp as Secretary of State, while Republican incumbent Chuck Eaton is running against Democrat Lindy Miller for a seat on the Public Safety Commission.
If a voter still has an absentee ballot or recently mailed one, Couch recommended checking the ballot’s status at mvp.sos.ga.gov. Absentee ballots will continue to be accepted by mail until the close of business, 5 p.m., on Dec. 7, if they are post-marked by Tuesday, Dec. 4.
Ballots received after the close of polls at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 4, which bare no postmark — such as those hand delivered — will not be counted.
Hand-delivered ballots will only be counted if they are received by the Board of Elections before the close of polls at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 4.
Absentee ballots that haven’t been delivered to the board can be canceled at a polling place on Election Day, allowing the voter to cast their ballot in person, Couch said. If a voter already mailed their ballot, they can sign an affidavit canceling the ballot, she added.
Call the board at 912-554-7060 for more information on the upcoming runoff.
This article has been updated to clarify when absentee ballots must be received to be counted.