Local official shares how residents can prepare to cast their votes
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WFXG) - Georgia's primary elections will officially be held on Tuesday, but voters have been able to vote early and have until Friday evening to do just that.
Richmond County Board of Elections Executive Director, Travis Doss visited FOX54 to share some information about preparing to vote in Georgia.
Doss says voters are showing up in record numbers to early voting, saying this year's turnout is double that of both 2018 and 2020. Doss says he is glad to see people heading to the polls, because voting in local elections can affect your daily life.
"We always get a higher turnout during a Presidential election," he says, "and yes, the President can make big changes in the country, but it's the local elections that you need to be concerned about." He points to Augusta's mayoral race, as well as commissioners. "Those are the people who really make a difference in your community. It's your local elected officials who can decide your property taxes, your trash pickup, and things that really matter to you locally."
As concerns of COVID have waned and crowds are returning to the polls, Doss says Richmond County has added additional ballot machines at each of the polling locations, and hired more people to work them during this election cycle. "We have stepped things up," he says, "to make it easier for people to come out and vote in advance."
Whether you choose to vote early or on Election Day next week, Doss emphasizes the importance of coming prepared and know who, and what, are on the ballot.
"There has been a lot of news as far as the local stuff, but when [voters] get into the booth and they realize that not only is it the local stuff [on the ballot this time], it's the senators, it's the governor, it's public service commissioners, all the house reps, all the senate reps. I think people are surprised when they see how big the ballot really is."
Doss adds that voters will be voting on key issues as well as personnel, and understanding the questions in advance can help when it's time to step into the voting booth.
"Make a plan," suggests Doss, and familiarize yourself with the offices and issues. "Go online and see a sample ballot. Stop by the [Board of Elections] office and pick up a sample ballot. Don't wait around until Election Day and say, 'hey it's lunchtime, let me run in here for five minutes.' It's not going to be five minutes."
Voters are required to show government-issued identification, such as a driver's license, passport, or military ID. It's also a good idea to verify your polling location if you plan to vote on Election Day, but early voters are able to vote at any of the county's four early voting precincts.
Copyright 2022 WFXG. All rights reserved.