At Tuesday’s Glynn County Board of Elections meeting, a request to potentially move one of the early voting locations turned into an idea to add a third early voting location.
The discussion revolved around moving the polling place currently located in the Office Park Building at 1815 Gloucester St., Brunswick, to the Ballard Complex, 325 Old Jesup Road. It morphed into a proposal to open a third early voting.
“We’ve got St. Simons, the city of Brunswick and we got the county of Glynn. I don’t think it would be out of the ordinary to have three voting precincts to accommodate the public,” said elections board member Tommy Clark, who proposed adding a new location.
Of course, adding a location means spending more money. Interim Elections and Registration Supervisor Chris Channell said it would probably costs $8,500 to run a new location per election for the three-week early voting period. The board approved a motion 5-0 to add $17,000 to its proposed fiscal year 2019-2020 budget to cover the cost of a third polling location.
Though just because the board approved the motion, doesn’t mean the funding is set in stone.
It is possible the county commission says no to the addition. We hope that doesn’t happen. This past voting cycle showed there is a significant percentage of voters who prefer to vote early.
Even though it was a midterm election, which typically sees less people cast a ballot than presidential elections, 17,653 early votes were cast in 2018.
That doubles the amount of early votes cast in the 2014 midterm elections and came within 1,000 ballots of the amount of early votes cast in the 2016 presidential election.
We wouldn’t be surprised if the early voting totals in 2020 crush the record-setting total from 2018. An additional early voting location will help keep the line moving and provide voters with more options.
Considering the amount of interest the 2020 presidential election is sure to bring from voters on both sides of the aisle, adding another polling place is worth an additional expenditure in the budget.